Powerful debris flows damaged homes and cars and swept away roads in several mountain communities on Monday, and evacuation orders remain in effect with a chance of more rain on the way.
Video captured huge, foot-high waves of mud rolling down the hillside outside the Oak Glen Steakhouse Saloon in just one example of the storm’s impacts in the area.
A cyclist told NBC4 that she couldn’t get to Potato Canyon because there was an ambulance stuck there. Road closures, such as that of Oak Glen Road and Casa Blanca Avenue early Tuesday morning, also kept people from moving, with a thick layer of mud covering the streets.
Many local residents said they were just happy their homes weren’t damaged – although others in the area weren’t so lucky.
Monday’s torrential rain left a mess in its wake. In Forest Falls, a debris flow knocked huge rocks and boulders on top of houses. Cars were also buried in the mud and the situation became so dangerous that residents had to rush out of their homes and leave the area.
“It’s part of life,” said resident Eugene Gerber. “It’s part of life in the mountains. If you want to live in paradise, there’s always some kind of consequence. For us, it’s floods, fires [and] lots of snow.”
The San Bernardino County Fire Department is helping clear area roads now that the rains have slowed, though more storms could drift over the mountains Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately, this time there is no flash flood warning in place.
The damage extended to the Crestline area, with deep flooding filled with debris and crossing several roads and covering cars up to their hoods. Many of these drivers were stuck inside their vehicles.
Part of the reason for the road closures was that the fast-moving waters trapped several cars.
An evacuation center is open at Redlands East Valley High School for those under evacuation orders.