Officials in Orange County on Monday evicted roughly 100 people living on a half-mile-long homeless encampment along the bank of the Santa Ana River.
It’s the most visible example of the growing homeless problem in Orange County. Driving along several nearby freeways, you can see miles of makeshift tents and tarps along the cement banks of the dry riverbed.
Monday morning, the county descended on one segment of that burgeoning population. About a dozen vehicles -- sheriff’s cruisers, garbage trucks and county health officials’ cars -- lined up and moved in early to help the homeless residents clear out.
The encampments lie in the shadow of two major attractions in Anaheim -- the major league baseball stadium for the Angels of Anaheim, and the Honda Center, home to the National Hockey League's Anaheim Ducks.
Those two sports venues had nothing to do with yesterday’s eviction, according to Orange County public works information officer Shannon Widor. He says this one section of riverbank is not part of the public trail that runs along the riverbed. Monday's move was prompted by public safety concerns, he said: It’s a flood channel.