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California in Brief / MODJESKA CANYON

Webcams will aid flood monitoring

December 05, 2007|Jennifer Delson

The U.S. Geological Survey plans to install webcams in Orange County's Santiago Creek and the Malibu Canyon area to monitor flooding and debris flows.

A camera positioned at Santiago Canyon Road and Modjeska Canyon Road -- at the bridge where Santiago Canyon Road crosses Santiago Creek -- will be operating 24 hours a day. Anyone can view a live feed from the camera on the Internet and can reposition the camera for different views, said Jim Nickles, an agency spokesman.

The only other webcam installed in California is at the Truckee River.

Plans call for the placement of six others, including the one at Malibu Canyon.

The Orange County location was chosen because "the area was identified as a high-risk area for debris flows and mudslides. Already there has been an evacuation because of high flood risk" Nickles said. This will just give us one more tool to monitor what is happening."

On Nov. 30, Orange County fire officials asked Modjeska and Williams canyon residents to evacuate their homes because of slick conditions on surrounding hillsides because of the fires earlier that month.

Although staff will not regularly monitor the camera, "Once the stream starts flowing, we will be watching it 24 hours a day," he said.

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