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Our Times: Orange County Community News

Lake Forest

August 22, 2000|Marie Padilla, (949) 574-4203

A local nonprofit group has its sights on a $1-million federal grant to save houses it says are in danger of tumbling down the ravine to Serrano Creek.

"The grant is critical to the future of this area," said Mike Becker, a board member of the Serrano Creek Conservancy.

Eighteen of the 63 houses in the one-mile stretch of the private Autumnwood Homeowners Assn. are at risk if nothing is done to shore up the creek's banks, which have been eroded by flooding, Becker said.

The area between Dimension and Trabuco Road was damaged during a 1997 El Nino storm, and since then, erosion has caused the creek to creep closer to the row of houses on its banks.

"El Nino brought the edge of the creek within 30 feet of the houses, and then it drops down 40 feet to the creek bottom," Becker said.

The grant is offered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and targets emergency restoration around city stream banks. It is available next year.

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