Proclamation Declared After Hillside Collapse in the Dover Shores Community of Newport Beach and other weather-related incidents in Laguna Beach, Seal Beach, San Clemente, and the Santa Margarita Water District.
ORANGE COUNTY — Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley released a statement after her proposal to Proclaim of Local State of Emergency to support storm response as a result of the hillside collapse in the Dover Shores community in Newport Beach and other weather-related events throughout Orange County was unanimously adopted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
“I am deeply concerned by the hillside collapse in the Dover Shores neighborhood in Newport Beach and other storm events through my district and Orange County,” said Supervisor Foley. “After surveying the damage on Sunday, I immediately worked with Board Chairman Donald Wagner, the County team, the Orange County Fire Authority, state partners, and local officials to assess weather related risks in Orange County and do everything in our power to use our resources to assist residents in need. My hope is that there is no further sliding on the shore, but if these three homes fall, a cascading effect may happen to the 50 other homes on the bluff and we must be prepared in case that happens.”
The California Governor declared a state of emergency on March 1, 2023 (link) and then March 8, 2023 (link) for 34 of California’s 58 counties to address recent storms. The County of Orange was not included in these declarations. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services requires the County to proclaim a declaration of emergency for assistance to be provided to local jurisdictions.
Current identified incidents include but are not limited to the following events.
Newport Beach – The backyard of a Dover Shores house in the City of Newport Beach collapsed, along with a chunk of the bluff beneath it during a downpour on Friday, March 3, 2023. The house was deemed uninhabitable, and its residents, as well as their neighbors, including a 90 year old, were forced to vacate their homes. Additional structures may be threatened due to slope instability. According to media reports, geologists have been surveying the area around the red-tagged home and report the ground is still shifting. The City of Newport Beach has provided an Initial Damage Estimate of $1.4 million for emergency protective measures and debris removal, and $1 million in potentially eligible Individual Assistance costs
Laguna Beach – The January storms destroyed a lifeguard tower with an estimated damage of $96,000. During the most recent storms, a sinkhole opened that impacted a street, water line, gas line, and resulted in the temporary evacuation of residents. This impact is ongoing as incoming storms are likely to increase the damage; no estimate currently available and geology report pending.
Seal Beach – The City of Seal Beach proclaimed an emergency on January 17, 2023. The severe winter storms damaged the pier and caused flooding to homes along the coast. Initial damage estimates are $1.6 million.
San Clemente and Orange County Transportation Authority – The Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors proclaimed an emergency in October to support railroad track stabilization in southern San Clemente. With the ongoing storms, the remediation costs have increased by approximately $1.5 million for additional land anchors and debris removal.
Santa Margarita Water District – Land subsidence during the January storms caused infrastructure damages estimated at $750,000.
Other incidents may occur this week as storms persist.
The Emergency Management Division of the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner’s Department is the lead agency for the County emergency preparedness and disaster response and will prepare interagency guidelines and procedures for the storm on an ongoing basis.