LOS ANGELES — Flash floods and freak summer thunderstorms have paralyzed parts of Southern California. Video footage of the mudslides in San Bernardino County shows mud, sometimes hip-deep, covering the area.
Fox News reports that roughly 2,500 people were stranded Monday morning and that one person was found dead in a creek, as floods submerged roads and low-lying areas. The storms plaguing the region poured up to 3 1/2 inches of rain on Forest Falls, and almost 5 inches on Mount Baldy, according to the National Weather Service.
The communities of Oak Glen and Forest Falls have been severely affected, Fox New reports, and residents may have to wait hours to be rescued, according to San Bernardino County Fire spokesman Ryan Beckers. 1,500 residents of Oak Glen and 1,000 of Forest Falls have been stranded by the debris that was distributed in the are from the floods.
500 children and adults were stranded in forest Falls after they arrived at a campground in the community Sunday morning. Kyle Hauducoeur, a county fire spokesman, told Fox News: “Our concern is that they’re isolated at that campground and no longer have access out of the mountain.”
County Fire Capt. Josh Wilkins told the Los Angeles Times, “Every rescue unit we have, every fire engine we have in San Bernardino County” had been working, “We are literally approaching the maximum right now in terms of our call volume.” Authorities reportedly made reverse 911 calls telling residents to stay where they were so crews could clear the roads. In one place in Forest Falls, the mud submerged a van. In the Mount Baldy area, creeks whose volume increased as a result of the storm became rivers. In Palm Springs, the water was two feet deep; in Redlands, the storm pulled down a tree.
Robert Ethridge, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman, told KNBC-TV that some campers had to evacuate in seconds because of the onslaught from the rain, saying, “It sounded like a freight train coming through.”