Inland Empire cleans up after storm; burn areas spared from severe damage

REDLANDS, Calif. (KABC) -- The day after a series of storms pummeled the Inland Empire, some residents are cleaning up while others are counting their blessings.

A storm drain was clogged at the top of Orange Street in San Bernardino, causing mud to overflow into one resident's yard, filling her pool with mud.

"This is my home," Lorna Davide said. "And I came home to absolute devastation."

Davide lives below a hillside project being constructed by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, in which 42 home sites are planned. The tribe says there are four catch basins that are also being built, but because they're not finished yet, they couldn't handle the rain the storm delivered.

The contractor started pumping water out of the basins, which the tribe says spared a neighborhood to the east from any damage. But so much water was diverted to a nearby creek, that at least one other property was damaged. The creek also overflowed onto Orange Street, prompting a response by the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

"My pool is totally destroyed," Davide said. "And not only that, but it's gone down through the pool, and through the riparian corridor. It's devastating."

Firefighters in both Riverside and San Bernardino were also busy responding to calls in the Santa Ana river bottom, where more than two dozen homeless people needed to be rescued. While there were no serious injuries, many of them were trapped on islands surrounded by the moving water.

"It is a frequent occurrence," said Capt. Jason Serrano, with the San Bernardino County Fire Dept. "It happens almost every time that it rains."

In Lake Elsinore, all evacuation orders were lifted on Thursday night.

City leaders were pleased with the response to the storm. They said because of all the preparation that was made in making sure levees and catch basins were ready for the storms, no serious damage occurred - and no one was hurt.
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