Lake Hemet Mud Flow

Auguest 16, 2018
Garner Valley, Lake Hemet

Written by Eric Holden

After the Cranston Fire RMRU was asked to assist multiple days with possible mudslides and actual mudslides.

8/16 – We were asked to stage at Lake Hemet as thunderstorms were expected in the area. I met with Alex at the Sheriff station and started up the mountain. While driving along the 74 between Mountain Center and Lake Hemet a large cell passed overhead and was dumping lots of rain. Active mud flows were coming down the hillside we saw some minor rock fall. We arrived at the lake to a continued heavy downpour. We would wait a few hours more as Caltrans cleared the highway. Other than the debris on the road there were no other incidents.

Rescue Truck at Lake Hemet Station

Truck after rain at Lake Hemet
Photo by Eric Holden.

8/17 – We were called again after a large cell passed over Hurkey Creek and caused a large mudslide. From a witness “A 20ft high wall of mud and trees”. The mudslide was over, but we were tasked to head near the beginning of the mudslide as a few homes are back there. Shani, Dana and I met with DSSAR and RSO Deputies, James and Waters. We caravanned through the mudslides and had to pull one of the vehicles out due to how deep the mud was. We made it to the homeowners and miraculously the slide went all around their buildings but didn’t touch them. Power and water were cut off. They were very happy to see us. We checked on a few more homes before heading back down the mountain.

Dana and Home Owner

Home Owner thanking RMRU member Dana
Photo by Eric Holden.

8/20 – We were called out again due to possible thunder storms. I met Shani at the Station and we drove up to Lake Hemet. Once there the skies were clear, and the new weather report showed 0% chance of rain. We got the ok to leave the scene and headed back down the mountain.

Shani and Mudslide Pile up

Shani and Mudslide Pile Up
Photo by Eric Holden.

RMRU Members Involved: Eric Holden, Shani Pynn, Dana Potts, Alex Rilloraza, and Tyler Shumway.