In a time of need, residents stepped into action to rescue trapped residents.
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, residents of Forest Falls, Seven Oaks, and the mountain communities were overwhelmed with a heavy downpour of rain. Residents described it as the worst that they could remember in a long time. The storm washed out several roads, trapping residents in or near their homes with no way to get out. Emergency medical personnel ready to assist were unable to get into the area due to impassable roadways, debris, and some roads completely washed out. Of the roads washed out, SR 38 and SR18 were just two of the major ones.
An elderly Seven Oaks woman was trapped in her home when it suddenly became surrounded by fast-rising, fast-moving water. Since emergency crews had no way to get to her, her neighbors got together and planned a swift water rescue. Using a small boat and safety ropes, the residents were able to navigate the dangerous water and make the rescue.
Forest Falls was also hit hard by the heavy rainfall cutting emergency crews off to those in need of rescue. San Gorgonio Search and Rescue Volunteer, Brad Hundman, went into action and teamed up with residents and utility workers to assess the town, check on trapped residents and provide front line direction on emergency resources that would be needed when it was possible for them to enter.
Yucaipa police said that the fire department with heavy equipment was eventually able to cut through some of the debris in order to make their way into town to rescue several others. Although the storms, along with the flooding caused damage to property, no one was seriously injured.
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