Southern California mudslides damage homes, carry away cars
OAK GLEN, Calif. (AP) — Cleanup efforts and damage assessments were underway Tuesday east of Los Angeles after heavy rains unleashed mudslides in a mountain area scorched by a wildfire two years ago, sending boulders across roads, carrying away cars and prompting evacuations and shelter-in-place orders.
Firefighters went street by street to make sure no residents were trapped after mud flows began inundating roads Monday night near the community of Forest Falls. Eric Sherwin, spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Fire Department, said crews hadn’t found anyone who needed to be rescued and no one was reported missing.
Multiple homes and other structures had varying levels of damage, Sherwin said, including a commercial building where the mud was so high it collapsed the roof. Rocks, dead trees and other debris surged down slopes with astonishing force in Forest Falls, Oak Glen and Yucaipa, he said.
“We have boulders that moved through that weigh multiple tons,” Sherwin said. “It could take days just to find all the cars that are missing because they are completely covered by mud.”
Social media video from Oak Glen showed a torrent of mud racing down a hillside, across a road and into a restaurant parking lot.