Rising floodwaters lap at California village

The steadily rising floodwaters of Lake Elsinore Sunday threatened a retirement village for 135 people. Overflow from the lake, which already has flooded more than 200 homes in the area, edged toward the 82-unit condominium where residents were being evacuated.

Excessive runoff from a 750-square-mile watershed overburdened by recent storms has caused a steady rise in the lake, federal and state emergency coordinators said, but some residents of the condominiums have been fooled by clear weather in recent days and assumed the danger was over.

The lake, in Riverside County, about 65 miles southeast of Los Angeles, has risen more than 23 feet in the last two weeks and has spread out over an area three times its normal size.

The steady runoff from the watershed and the San Jacinto River has been pumping into the lake since mid-February. The lake has no outlet, but the Corps of Engineers hurriedly dug a five-foot deep channel in an attempt to lower the water level. The lake was not expected to crest until around midweek.

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