At 11 a.m. on Dec. 22, the Nielsen Expositions headquarters in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. -- home to staff from Outdoor Retailer, Interbike and Health & Fitness Business -- was evacuated due to flood threat.
"Trabuco Creek, which is normally bone dry, was overwhelmed with the amount of rain we've been receiving in such a short amount of time," Rich Kelly, marketing manager for Health & Fitness Business and Interbike, told SNEWS.
The creek is actually a concrete-lined canal put in place for flood-control purposes and it runs adjacent to the Nielsen offices. As a result of the volume and force of the water, the concrete slabs on the sides of the canal were washed away, and nearly eight feet of levee earth simply vanished in an instant.
"The authorities thought the erosion could swallow the road and flood our office's parking lot, so they told us to leave pretty quickly just after 11 a.m. yesterday," said Kelly. "We all grabbed our bags and scrambled."
Staff, at least those who were not out doing last-minute Christmas shopping, were able to return to the office on Thursday morning after work crews spent all night stabalizing the creek's shore with huge boulders.
Below is a video that Outdoor Retailer show director Kenji Harotunian sent us that captures the energy of the water...shot from the conference room window on the second floor of Nielsen's offices.