Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley Extends Local Emergency Declaration Due to Ongoing Winter Storm Impacts in South County

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley announced the Board’s unanimous support on her proposal to extend a local state of emergency related to winter storm events an additional 60 days. This extension will allow Orange County to continue addressing the ongoing impacts of recent weather and climate-related events, including the landslides in San Clemente and Laguna Niguel.

“Our County’s Emergency Declaration allows impacted communities to continue receiving relief,” said Supervisor Foley. “As we speak, the earth is moving from under us. Additional weather-related events grow increasingly unpredictable. Hillsides near roads are sliding in Laguna Niguel. We lost at least one home in Newport Beach. Residents in San Clemente remain displaced. A cherished historical landmark, Casa Romantica, remains at risk as the hillside under their prior patio and outdoor event area slid onto the railroad tracks.”

“This county emergency proclamation system protects our cities and helps allocate funding to address the real costs incurred.” added Supervisor Foley.

The County estimates $16.2 million in public property damages and $10.2 million in private property damages across Orange County so far.

Official damage estimates for the recent Casa Romantic landslide and the Proclamation of Local Emergency issued by the City of Laguna Niguel related to La Paz on Friday, May 5, 2023, are still pending as those are ongoing slides.

Current official estimates by the Orange County Emergency Services Department, as reported on Friday, May 5, 2023: 

Orange County Community Resources (OC Parks) 

Storm damage due to heavy rains caused by run-off along with shifting soil led to damage to the historical Modjeska House in Modjeska Canyon. Newport Harbor OC Parks Bayside Beach Rental Docks suffered damage due to the storms as strong winds and rising waters displaced pilings and dislodged boating docks causing docks to become detached. Estimated combined damage of $1.5 million.

Orange County Public Works 

Completed emergency work including responding to mud and debris flows, removing downed trees, and clearing storm channels of debris. This included assisting several cities with debris removal and disposal. Additionally, there was damage to County weather stations and construction project delays due to heavy rain. These costs are estimated at $255,533. 

Orange County Sheriff’s Department Technology Division  

The Sheriff’s Department manages the countywide communications infrastructure on behalf of all public safety agencies across Orange County. Damage estimates are being gathered at this time, exceeding $100,000.

Orange County Waste and Recycling  

OCWR costs have included damages at the PRIMA facility and operational overtime to manage winter storm response. These costs are estimated at $84,913.

City of Costa Mesa 

Estimated $55,000 for public assistance and $100,000 in miscellaneous damages.

City of Fountain Valley 

Reported damage to a roadway and storm drain area which forced the closure of at least one lane in the southern portion of their City. Estimated cost was $1.1 million for public assistance.  

City of Huntington Beach  

The City of Huntington Beach estimates $240,000 in emergency response costs to mitigate the heavy storms.  

City of Laguna Beach  

The January storms destroyed a lifeguard tower with an estimated damage of $96,000. With other damages in the city, total damages were estimated to be $5.5 million for public and individual assistance.  

City of Los Alamitos 

Community Center suffered major roof, wall and floor damage. These repairs estimated at $400,000.  

City of Newport Beach 

Homes along the Back Bay Bluffs in the City of Newport Beach where the backyard of a home collapsed causing great damage to an adjacent storm drain forcing the use of temporary pumps to assist in the drainage for the surrounding neighborhood. The adjacent house was deemed uninhabitable by local officials and was later demolished. Additional structures were threatened due to slope instability and will need repair, as the ground continues to shift. Cost has increased to $3.4 million for public and individual assistance.  

City of San Clemente  

San Clemente has had multiple locations with significant impacts due to soil saturation and slope failures.  

San Clemente also had four apartment buildings in the 1500 block of Buena Vista that were evacuated and red tagged due to a landslide that left the back of the structures in danger of crumbling down the hillside. These buildings are being monitored. The cost has reached over $3 million.  

As of today, public and private damage continues to develop along Avenida Granada properties. At present, this includes a 24- unit condominium complex that was red-tagged due to landslide. Additionally, the historically designated Casa Romantica Cultural Center in San Clemente is closed after the landslide destroyed a significant portion of the balcony and outdoor venue space on the city owned property. Damage assessment remains ongoing 

City of San Juan Capistrano  

Estimated damage of $1 million for hillside slippage and traffic signaling equipment for public assistance.  

City of Santa Ana  

Water Control Facilities suffered damage to a joint municipal water clarification channel, needed to filter water en route to the Pacific Ocean. Maintenance crews clear debris from waterways wash, at times needing to utilize contractors to assist in the maintenance and repairs to this joint project. Over $70,000 in repairs and damages was estimated towards public assistance.  

City of 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. 

City of Yorba Linda  

The City owned golf course has a sizable sinkhole that is in the cart path. Estimated damage of $200,000.  

Orange Coast College  

Reported storms caused damage roofs, walls and floors in several campus buildings. Their Newport Beach Sailing school also incurred damage to two elevators that are used to ensure accessibility. Estimated damage of $88,454. 

Orange County Transportation Authority  

The Orange County Transportation Authority conducted protective measures to stabilize the railroad tracks in southern San Clemente. With the ongoing storms, the remediation costs have increased to approximately $1.5 million for additional land anchors and debris removal. Over the $13 million already expended, shutting down the railway is a major revenue loss and disruption for those who commute to work and those who use this means of transportation for recreation and everyday use.

Santa Margarita Water District  

Land subsidence during the January storms caused infrastructure damages estimated at $750,000.

South Coast Water District  

Coastal Treatment Plant had severe damage at 10th and Sunset where the storms caused a water main rupture, creating a sinkhole that led to a gas leak. Residents evacuated their homes until the gas leak repair was completed. Additionally, an SUV fell in the sinkhole when the road collapsed. Repairs continue and are estimated to be $1.5 million.


Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.

Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), OCFA Legislation & Public Affairs Committee Chair, Orange County Transportation Authority, Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), TCA Joint Environmental Committee, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, Ocean Institute, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Community Engagement Panel, Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition Co-Chair, Law Library Board of Trustees, Orange County Housing Finance Trust, Local Agency Formation Commission (alt), Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and OC Public Libraries Advisory Board.