Residents near Newport Beach home ruined by landslide shore up property ahead of rain forecast Friday

The backyard of a Newport Beach home at 1930 Galaxy Drive has crumbled due to a landslide.
Law enforcement officials, right, observe a Newport Beach home at 1930 Galaxy Drive that was red-tagged after a landslide destroyed its backyard adjacent to Upper Newport Bay.
(Susan Hoffman)

Rain forecast on Friday has residents near a Newport Beach home damaged by a landslide last week scrambling to find ways to shore up their property.

The backyard of a Dover Shores house collapsed along with a chunk of the bluff beneath it during a downpour last Friday, March 3. It was deemed uninhabitable, and its residents, as well as their neighbors, were forced to vacate their homes. They remained displaced as of Thursday, Newport Beach spokesman John Pope said.

Crews respond outside of a home on Galaxy Drive in Newport Beach.
Crews respond outside of a home on Galaxy Drive in Newport Beach where a landslide occurred facing Upper Newport Bay.
(Susan Hoffman)

With the earth unstable beneath them, nearby residents were working to fortify their homes before another bout of showers arrives in Orange County Friday. Between 0.5 and 0.75 inches were expected to come down in the region that day before precipitation tapers off overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Geologist have been surveying the area around the red-tagged Newport Beach home and say the ground is still shifting, Pope said. The landslide also damaged a drain that carries storm water out of the neighborhood.

“That soil is still moist, so the situation is still evolving,” Pope said.

He described the landslide as a “localized incident.” City officials were working to expedite permitting for repairs on damaged homes. However, most of the bluff directly adjacent to the neighborhood sits on a wildlife preserve. That means it belongs to the the state of California, so much of the cleanup and fortification of the cliffside may fall within their authority, Pope said.

Meanwhile, rain last week may have contributed to a sinkhole that swallowed a Range Rover, ruptured a water main and caused a gas leak in Laguna Beach on Monday. Residents there were evacuated for about four hours as methane and about 100,000 gallons of water were released into the neighborhood.

Crews work to pull a Range Rover out of a sinkhole on Sunset Avenue in Laguna Beach on March 5.
(Courtesy of the city of Laguna Beach)

Further north, in communities along the San Bernardino Mountains, record-breaking snowfall completely buried homes, cutting some off from medical care and other essential services. At least 12 people caught in the Southern California blizzard had died as of Wednesday.

The next round of rain will be partially driven by an “atmospheric river” of moist air spreading south from Northern California, according to the National Weather Service. It should pass by Sunday, giving way to clearer skies and temperatures in the 70s.

A roof collapsed on a Crestline business as storms dropped more than 100 inches of snow in the San Bernardino Mountains.
A roof collapsed on a local business March 6 after recent storms dropped more than 100 inches of snow in the San Bernardino Mountains.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

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