Rescue crews on high alert for storm-related emergencies in SoCal storm

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- With heavy rainfall and snow on Saturday, Los Angeles area firefighters were on high alert, ready for any storm-related emergencies.

Heavy rain came down in Costa Mesa in the evening hours -- it was the last of the showers from a first round of rain.

Communities across Southern California got a good soaking.

MORE: Track the storm with the ABC7 LIVE Megadoppler 7000 HD

South of Glendale near the L.A. River and 134 Freeway, islands where homeless people tend to camp out were put under voluntary evacuation by L.A. fire crews.

LAFD officials warned transients to leave the area before water levels get too high and dangerous to cross.

In Sherman Oaks, an LAFD swift water rescue team suited up. They were ready to deploy if flood waters put lives at risk.

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It was pouring most of the afternoon as the storm system moved across Southern California. It hit hard in Westlake Village on the 101 Freeway, and firefighters wanted to remind drivers that they should not try to drive over flooded roads or try to wade through fast-moving water.

"Don't try to physically cross water, even if it looks like it is 18 or 24 inches deep and looks like you can cross it, because even that small depth of water can sweep you off your feet and you won't be able to get out," said Capt. Tom Henzgen of the LAFD.

Earlier this week, a team had to deploy inflatable boats and bring four people to safety from the islands in the L.A. River when the water level rose quickly.

In Anaheim, some people picked a less than ideal day to go to Disneyland. Those without a poncho or umbrella used coats for cover. The rain continued heading east, drenching the Inland Empire.

Traffic on Interstate 15 in Rancho Cucamonga slowed to a crawl. Ventura County also received its fair share of rain.

Water levels as of Saturday night were not moving extremely fast, but crews say that with more rain on the way, that could change very quickly.
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