Cleanup Continues In Forest Falls - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Cleanup Continues In Forest Falls

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The sound of shovels and skip loaders echoes all over Forest Falls, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles. Heavy rain released large mudflows onto the mountain community, blocking the main way in and out, damaging homes and campsites, and leaving some people stranded.

"It was like the Mississippi River", said one man who tried to punch through the water flow to safety, only to find his van full of children trapped. Campers for the Christian Community Center helped get everyone to safety, and found themselves helping quite a few stranded motorists dig out from the heavy mud, once the sun came out. About 200 campers had been evacuated, but a handful stayed behind thought the deluge "singing and praying, just making the best of it" in their dining hall.

A wall of mud and rocks blocked the only way in and out of the community until this afternoon. That's when residents, who did not shelter in place, were able to check their cabins. Between 10 and 15 homes have moderate damage, with half a dozen red tagged.

We saw a lot of boulders and mud as high as four feet into some houses, as well as propane tanks that ended up in yards of neighbors a few blocks away. One elderly man was extricated from his porch, where the water was flowing hard. He is staying with family.

Overall though, "we are very lucky" says Mike Peebles with San Bernardino County Fire, " no major injuries, no fatalities...honestly, this could have been a lot worse".

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