Mud flows slam Forest Falls neighborhood, damaging homes, wiping out roads

Eric Resendiz Image
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Mud flows sounding like thunder roll through Forest Falls
A heavy storm cell sent rivers of mud flowing through Forest Falls, leaving homes and roads heavily damaged.

FOREST FALLS, Calif. (KABC) -- One of the harder-hit communities by this week's heavy rain across the Inland Empire was Forest Falls, where homes were heavily damaged, roads were washed out and cars were carried away on rivers of mud.

Authorities are still investigating a report of a missing person in the area as well.

After a heavy storm cell swept across San Bernardino County on Monday, many communities were hit with sudden downpours that caused flash flooding and mud flows. Backyards were left inundated with mud, power lines were taken out and tall trees were knocked over.

A shelter in place order for Forest Falls residents was lifted by 6 p.m. Tuesday, but evacuation orders remained in place for the area of Canyon Drive south to Prospect Drive and south of Valley of the Falls Drive.

Water and power service to many homes in the area were still out on Tuesday.

Search-and-rescue crews are still sweeping through the area checking on residents as bulldozers try to clear roads.

Some 2,000 homes in the Forest Falls and Oak Glen communities were evacuated, fire officials say.

Olin Richey captured cellphone video of a torrent of mud flowing down the hillside next to his home.

"A constant roll of thunder," Richey said. "That's exactly what it sounded like, just pouring through for a good half hour."

"It is a part of living in the mountains," said local resident Eugene Gerber. "If you want to live in paradise there is always some sort of consequence. For us it is mud, fires and snow."

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Residents in the Yucaipa area are now on a long road to recovery after flash flooding sent "wave after wave" of mud into their homes, destroying structures and even businesses.