Heavy rain helps mountain communities dig out from snow as some must be rescued from floodwaters

Rob McMillan Image
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Heavy rain helps mountain communities dig out from snow
Heavy rain knocked down power lines and trees, causing more damage in the mountain communities even as snow continues to melt.

CRESTLINE, Calif. (KABC) -- Heavy rain caused several people living in areas vulnerable to flooding to have to be rescued as the most recent storm to hit mountain communities such as Crestline caused more damage to the hard hit area.

But, there was one silver lining, the rain helped the snow melt from people's roofs.

"I think it's a good thing now, because almost half of our roof snow has melted," said Margaret Potvin, a resident of Crestline.

Much of the snow surrounding people's homes and cars has melted significantly as well.

One car once entirely submerged in snow has begun to see sunlight as the snow around it has melted.

"Who would believe it's a blessing, just to get in and out of your house," said Potvin. "Out to have an apple, or a piece of celery, or something that you couldn't ordinarily get."

Yet even as the snow melts, the rain has not come without its downsides. Power lines and trees have been knocked over, crushing cars and homes, and several people who did not heed official warnings to leave areas vulnerable to rising river water had to be rescued.

Casey Roberts was one of two people who had to be rescued from the Santa Ana river bottom in Colton after the water became too much to handle.

"The water just came out of nowhere," said Roberts. "We couldn't get out of there. We just couldn't get out of there."

And, on Tuesday night in Jurupa Valley, another driver had to be rescued after they tried to drive across the swift moving waters.

For Eric Lopez of Crestline, a streak of sunshine and warm weather would be welcomed without complaints.

"It's been snowing and raining and dripping and mud and no internet, and the power's been out for about two weeks," said Lopez.