Rescue boats were called in to ferry people to safety.
One rescued woman said she was frightened.
"It was like really scary. I thought we were going to go straight into the river. It was very scary," said Kimberly Tyson.
Basketball players from Inglewood and Morningside high schools were in San Diego for a tournament.
They had to be evacuated from the Comfort Inn across the street.
Both hotels will remain closed until they dry out.