A flash flood warning was issued Wednesday afternoon for a burn area in Orange County where residents were under a voluntary evacuation order.
The warning went in effect at midday for the Silverado burn area during heavy downpours in eastern Orange County. The warning is expected to remain in effect until Wednesday evening.
A voluntary evacuation was in effect for neighborhoods near the burn area Wednesday morning, when the third of four winter storms brought downpours and flooding to Southern California. Radar showed heavy rain in the Silverado Canyon area Wednesday afternoon.
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The National Weather Service called the weather a "dangerous situation" for Silverado Canyon residents.
Heavy rainfall is expected to last at least 3 p.m. When the flash flood warning was issued around midday, Orange County emergency-operations officials urged Silverado Canyon residents to "move to higher ground and take immediate measures to protect life and property." They warned that the storm could produce "damaging winds, hail, lightning and heavy rain."
About 1,000 acres were scorched in a mid-September 2014 blaze, making the hillside ripe for mudslides.
Forecasters were also predicting high surf. Waves were about 6 feet high at Huntington Beach just before 1 p.m., but they could reach as high as 9 or 10 feet later.
A fourth storm system is expected later in the week as the first significant El Nino-driven storms of the season move into the state, which has been under drought conditions for more than four consecutive years.