1 dead, thousands stranded in mountain storms

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One person died in a flash-flood on Mount Baldy and thousands were stranded as roadways were washed out in mountain storms Sunday. (KABC)

One adult died Sunday, trapped in a vehicle that was swept off Bear Drive in the Mount Baldy area in flash-flood conditions. The person's gender was not immediately known. Rescue crews had not extricated the body from the vehicle by 10:30 p.m., according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

In the Oak Glen area, approximately 1,500 residents were unable to get out, according to Cal Fire. As many as 3,000 people were estimated to be stranded in the Forest Falls area, according to fire officials. At least one resident in the Forest Falls area was rescued from rising waters and transported to a fire station.

As many as 60 people were stranded Sunday evening at the Big Falls Campground near Valley of the Falls Drive, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. No injuries were reported there. The department said there were three major slides in the area with debris about 12-15 feet high, 75 feet wide and a quarter-mile long. Firefighters were hiking up to the area to give food and water to those trapped. Hand crews including dozens of personnel were on scene trying to clear the roadway.

A slide on Canyon Drive in Forest Falls broke a water pipeline. More than 50 residences on the street were without water Sunday night. The outage was expected to last as long as three days.

Oak Glen Road was blocked by debris flows in five locations:

  • Oak Glen Dr. cross of upper Potato Canyon Dr.

  • Potato Canyon Rd between Oak Glen Rd. Upper and lower.

  • Oak Glen Rd just on West side of Pine Bench Rd.

  • Oak Glen Rd between Pine Bench Rd and Wildwood Canyon Dr.

  • Pine Bench road between Oak Glen Rd and Oak Glen Camp

In the Angeles National Forest, Mount Baldy and Shinn roads were closed to Glendora Ridge Road due to flooding. In Glendora, Glendora Mountain and Big Dalton roads were closed to East Fork Road. In the Claremont/La Verne area, Glendora Ridge and Glendora Mountain roads were closed to Mount Baldy Road. Valley of the Falls Drive at Highway 38 was to be closed to all non-residents for an unknown duration due to rising flood waters.

The Forest Home church camp in the Forest Falls area was forced to shut down Sunday night. There was no electricity or water as a result the severe weather. About 500 high-school-age campers, as well as counselors and families, were forced to leave, but it was unclear if they were able to get out. Sunday was the first day of a scheduled week-long camp outing.

The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning for the eastern San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County until 5 p.m. Sunday; the warning was later extended to 7 p.m. Strong thunderstorms were over the area. The warning covered the Williams burn area, and the foothills of Antelope Valley and the San Gabriel Valley were also included. Mount Baldy, Falling Springs, and Highways 2 and 39 were expected to impacted.

As flooding was reported in the Forest Falls area of the San Bernardino Mountains, swift-water rescue crews were assessing vehicles that had been washed down a stream by flooding for occupants. Area residents were advised to shelter in place while a severe thunderstorm passed over the area. A flash-flood warning was in effect until 7:15 p.m.

The NWS said as much as 3.5 inches of rain fell over Forest Falls. The NWS said 4.28 inches of rain fell in an hour over Mount Baldy.

A severe thunderstorm was reported over Claremont shortly before 5 p.m. The National Weather Service advises people in the area to get indoors to avoid lightning.

A flash-flood warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in the warning area move to higher ground immediately. People near streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to Protect life and property. Do not attempt to cross swiftly flowing waters or waters of unknown depth by foot or by automobile.

Flash-flood watches were extended across the Antelope Valley and L.A. County mountain ranges, excluding the Santa Monica Mountains.

Related Topics:
weatherflash floodingfloodingrainstormsevere weatherweatherLos Angeles CountySan Bernardino CountySouthern California
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