9 people, 2 dogs rescued from Santa Ana River amid heavy rainfall

Local news
People watch the sunset from an inlet to the Santa Ana River blocked with sand and barriers to protect the inflow of oil as cargo container ships wait off the coast to enter the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles after an oil spill in the Pacific Ocean as seen from Huntington Beach, California on Oct. 4, 2021. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

People watch the sunset from an inlet to the Santa Ana River blocked with sand and barriers to protect the inflow of oil as cargo container ships wait off the coast to enter the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles after an oil spill in the Pacific Ocean as seen from Huntington Beach, California on Oct. 4, 2021. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Heavy rainfall flooded a normally dry Santa Ana River Tuesday afternoon, leaving nine people and two dogs stranded in rushing water.

Just after 1:30 p.m., rescue crews responded to people stranded in the river near Riverside Avenue and Agua Mansa Road in the Rialto area, the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department said in a news release Wednesday.

Tuesday’s rain flooded the normally dry river and trapped several people and pets on small pockets of land.

An air rescue crew responded from San Bernardino in adverse weather conditions, battling rain and wind during the flight, officials said.

Upon arrival, the crew spotted several stranded people waving for help.

The crew hoisted a Sheriff’s Department dive team member down to them and each victim was individually rescued and transported to awaiting medical personnel.

One victim was rescued from a tree house over water, while another victim was rescued from a vehicle caught in the flood.

The remaining victims and two dogs were rescued from land areas surrounded by rushing water.

In total, nine people and two dogs were rescued during the mission. They were all described as being transients living in the Santa Ana River Wash, and included eight men who ranged in age between 24 and 62 years old, as well as one 41-year-old woman.

The Santa Ana River is the largest river entirely within Southern California and rises in the San Bernardino Mountains and flows through San Bernardino and Riverside counties, before heading through the Santa Ana Mountains and flowing southwest through Orange County.

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