San Bernardino Mountains hit with flash floods, downpours go on

Heavy rains continue to wreak havoc across Southern California’s mountains and deserts, including flash flooding that forced a San Bernardino County sheriff’s search and rescue team Saturday to help seven hikers trapped near Forest Falls.

The weekend flood hit just over a week after historic rains and flooding in Death Valley National Park, keeping hundreds of visitors and employees stuck at the park due to road closures, the second major flood this week to hit one of the typically hottest places on earth . Earlier this month, monsoon rains and mudslides also wiped out a section of Highway 38 near Big Bear, trapping more than 200 people on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

The treacherous weather is expected to continue throughout the week.

“It’s pretty much the same pattern where you have this humidity just east of LA County that’s capable of creating slow-moving thunderstorms in the mountains and desert every day,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Boldt in Oxnard. “They’re definitely capable of surviving heavy rain and flash flooding, so we have to keep an eye on that every day.”

Neighboring Arizona is also being hit hard by the strong monsoons, and flood warnings were issued across the state over the weekend. Flood guards remained in effect in parts of southeastern California, northwestern Arizona and Nevada on Sunday.

Even with the threat of downpours, Southern California’s heatwave is expected to continue throughout the week, and excessive heat warnings have been issued in the Sacramento Valley and northern San Joaquin Valley where temperatures can reach more than 109 degrees.

“It was hot, I know, but it’s only going to get worse,” Boldt said.

A rescue worker helps a youth cross flood water while holding two ropes.

Four children and three adults were rescued after a flash flood stranded them on the other side of the floodwater. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team responded to the scene and used a system of ropes to guide the stranded victims through the flood water. One person at a time, guided by SAR members, walked through the flowing water to get to safety.


On Saturday, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Officers rescued a group of seven hikers, including four children, who were trapped after a heavy rain, according to KTLA-TV. Video of the rescue provided to the station showed the hikers crossing a raging creek using a rope system set up by the sheriff’s search and rescue team. No injuries were reported.

Vince Lupian, 23, of Angelus Oaks, said the mountain communities along Highway 38 to Big Bear had been battered by torrential rainstorms for weeks.

The freeway north of the Oaks restaurant, where Lupian works as a server, has been closed since earlier this month after heavy rain washed mud and debris onto the roadway. In that storm, Angelus Oaks was hit with just over an inch of rain, weather officials said, which was enough to send mud pouring down the burn scar of the 2020 El Dorado fire. San Bernardino Mountains hit with flash floods, downpours go on

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