FOREST FALLS, Calif. - During the wet and messy Sunday rainstorm, San Bernardino County mountains and many other parts of the Inland Empire were getting blasted by raging winds and serious downpours.
The rain came down hard and fast, flooding a low point of Swarthout Canyon Road. The water was too high for one pick-up truck that tried to cross. The San Bernardino County swift water rescue team had to use their raft to rescue the two people inside.
Firefighters in Murrieta were called into action when a truck was overcome by fast-moving water. A toddler, a young boy and two adults were trapped inside. It happened on Monroe Street near Interstate 15. All four were safely pulled from the vehicle.
MORE: Get the latest weather forecast for Southern California
In Corona, flooding shutdown the southbound 71 to the eastbound 91 for several hours. Late Sunday night, Caltrans was able to reopen the transition.
On Highway 38, north of Angelus Oaks, snow turned to slush that started to freeze caked parts of the road. Strong wind gusts of up to 60 mph blasted the mountains, along with heavy rain below 6,000 feet.
Wind, rain, snow slamming IE mountain areas
Travelers driving up to Big Bear were required to chain up before reaching the Forest Falls area.
"When it's raining this hard, then up in the mountains it's snowing hard. It causes a lot of problems on the road, even though it causes a lot of fun on the hill," said Brian Merrill, a chains installer.
Snow Summit received 6-8 inches of snow on Sunday and 16 inches in the last 48 hours. They were expecting more snow in the forecast overnight.
The Bear Valley Unified School District in San Bernardino County announced all schools within its area would be closed Monday due to severe snow conditions.
Fast-moving winds were causing dangerous conditions at mountain resorts and for residents in the community.
The pile-up of severe weather prompted several school closures. The Bear Valley Unified School District in San Bernardino County announced all campuses within its area would be closed Monday due to severe snow conditions.
The following schools will be closed:
- Big Bear Elementary School
- Baldwin Lake Elementary School
- Fallsvale Elementary School
- North Shore Elementary School
- Big Bear Middle School
- Big Bear High School
- Chautauqua High School
The district said in a statement the decision to close the schools is made on a day-to-day basis based on weather conditions and reports. District officials could also close the schools for more days, depending on conditions.
Weather reports predicted as much as 20 feet of snow could fall in the highest elevations.
Here are the predicted amounts for certain areas:
- 2-6 inches between 4,000 and 5,000 feet
- 6-12 inches between 5,000 and 6,000 feet
- 10-20 inches between 6,000 and 7,000 feet
- 20 or more inches for elevations above 7,000 feet
In addition to school closures for the areas, portions of State Route 158 were closed and drivers were urged to chain car tires because of the treacherous road conditions.