Thunderstorms kill 1, submerge cars in San Bernardino County – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Monday, August 04, 2014

Thunderstorms wreaked havoc in portions of the mountains and desert of San Bernardino County on Sunday, killing one person, clogging key access roads with rocks and mud, submerging cars and prompting “shelter in place” orders for at least 3,000 people.

One person was killed in the Bear Creek community, near Mt. Baldy, when debris swept a car off a roadway and into a swollen creek, authorities said.

Separately, several people rescued from fast-flowing water were treated for hypothermia, officials said.

One man in the Forest Falls mountain community was forced to escape a debris flow by climbing a tree. Most vehicles that were submerged in streams or floods were searched and found empty, authorities said.

County resources were stretched thin by the storm. Scores of swift-water rescue teams and fire engines had been dispatched to far-flung reaches of the county, said county Fire Capt. Josh Wilkins.

“Every rescue unit we have, every fire engine we have in San Bernardino County” had been sent out, Wilkins said. “We are literally approaching the maximum right now in terms of our call volume.”

The storms showed little sign of easing up. Typically, weather patterns in the area calm down at night. But by about 7 p.m., some of the more significant weather cells appeared to be circulating back toward the Forest Falls area after pummeling the San Bernardino Mountains and stretches of the Angeles National Forest.

“The whole thing could be repeating itself,” Wilkins said. The county was considering putting out a call for assistance to neighboring communities.

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