Wet week went by without much harm in O.C., but firefighters are planning for another stormy weekend

The Applebee siblings play in a rain puddle on Tuesday at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa.
The Applebee siblings, from left, Crusade, 4, Selah, 6, and Weslee, 3, play in a rain puddle on Tuesday at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Stormy weather in Orange County hasn’t resulted in the kind of catastrophe that led to evacuations and tragedy along the state’s Central Coast, but Southern California’s firefighters are still planning ahead with more rain expected to drench the region this coming weekend.

The past week saw no significant rise in calls for service to the Orange County Fire Authority, Capt. Sean Doran said. No major weather-related emergencies were reported in Huntington Beach, either, city spokeswoman Jennifer Carey said, although flooding did repeatedly shut down a portion of Pacific Coast Highway between Warner Avenue and Seapoint Street.

Crews were busy using heavy equipment to reinforce sand berms and pull lifeguard towers back from storm-driven waves that rose well over 10 feet at Huntington Beach Pier on Thursday. Additional firefighters were on duty to prevent rain-related issues from piling up and potentially impacting response times to other emergencies.


Twenty-one firefighters from Costa Mesa, Laguna Hills, Fullerton, Orange and OCFA came together to form a regional strike force in preparation for the storm, Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Chris Coates said. They were under the command of the California Office of Emergency Services, ready at a moment’s notice to respond to mudslides or any other large-scale disaster that may have unfolded in Orange County or elsewhere in Southern California.

Personnel from Orange and Anaheim also joined county firefighters in staffing a swift-water rescue team tasked with saving people who might accidentally get swept into flood channels or other flowing bodies of water.

Those joint efforts were relieved as showers passed and the county enjoys a brief reprieve from the clouds, but they may be reassembled soon as emergency responders prepare for another batch of storms expected to dump more rain this weekend.

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