A 22-year-old El Monte woman remains missing after she went on a hike alone in the Mount Baldy area of the San Gabriel Mountains as a strong storm moved into Southern California.
Lifei Huang has not been heard from since 4 p.m. Sunday, two hours after she set out for the hike, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
The Sheriff Department's Fontana Station received a report of a missing hiker late Sunday and a search and rescue team began looking for Huang at about 2:30 a.m. Monday.
Crews continued their search Tuesday in extremely heavy snowfall, but later pulled back due to the risk of avalanches, authorities said.
Crews will resume searching when conditions become safer.
Authorities are urging hikers to avoid activities in the mountains as they continue the search.
"The weather has effectively buried the mountain in snow and it is highly likely hikers will get into trouble," the Sheriff's Department said in a news release. "Resources are stretched to their limits and hikers who get lost may have to wait long periods of time before help is available."
Sheriff's Department spokesperson Mara Rodriguez said search efforts have been hampered due to more than a dozen avalanches reported as of midday Tuesday.
A record-setting storm moved into Southern California Sunday, bringing heavy rain, snow and flooding to the region.
In a news release, the Sheriff's Department initially provided an inaccurate spelling of Huang's first name. The agency later confirmed the correct spelling.