Sunday, May 3, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Flash floods damage more than 30 California homes

By
August 06, 2014 |

MOUNT BALDY — When the skies opened up with a vengeance, Michael Honer had a front row seat to the powerful forces of Mother Nature.

In a house overlooking Bear Creek in the tiny town of Mount Baldy, he watched the stream flow for the first time in two years. At first, it carried only leaves. By the time the rain stopped an hour later, the flow had carried away logs, rocks and even cars, sweeping a driver to his death.

“The stream was a raging black torrent of debris and big logs and muddy, silty water,” Honer said Monday as he shoveled mud outside a friend’s house above the creek. “It was apocalyptic.”

Flash floods in the Southern California mountains Sunday afternoon stranded thousands of people, destroyed several cars and damaged about 30 homes, including a dozen that were uninhabitable in the tiny communities of Mount Baldy and Forest Falls.

Roads to both places were ruled by bulldozers and other heavy equipment working under sunny skies Monday to clear mud and rocky debris. Crews were assessing damage and determining whether water was safe to drink in Mount Baldy.

Downpours punctuated with thunder and lightning dumped nearly 5 inches on Mount Baldy and as much as 3 1/2 inches on Forest Falls some 50 miles away, the National Weather Service said.

Those who witnessed the flash flooding up close described a roar as waters surged down the mountains.

George Smith of San Diego had been hiking up Mount San Gorgonio with a friend when they came to a wash that had been dry earlier in the day.

“We were just kind of deciding should we make a go of it, to cross or not, when there was a 10-foot high wall of water and debris and logs coming toward us,” he said. “It sounded like thunder coming down the river. Me and my friend had to scramble up a cliff to get out of the way of it.”

He and 12 other hikers huddled together and called 911. When the operator asked for a cross street they had to explain that they were in the forest. A woman who lives near Forest Falls lit a fire in her fireplace and let them dry out.

Nearly 2,500 people, including a group of about 500 campers who spent the night at a community center near Forest Falls, were stranded in the woodsy communities until roads reopened Monday.

San Bernardino County resources were stretched thin by the storm. Scores of swift-water rescue teams and fire engines had been dispatched to far-flung areas, county Fire Capt. Josh Wilkins said. In the Angeles National Forest, a group of four or five people and a dog were airlifted to safety.

In Mount Baldy, home to a small ski area, dozens of mud-covered volunteers pitched in to dig out homes and cars inundated with dirt and rock. The most significant damage was on Goat Hill Road, where a landslide buried some homes up to their roofs.

Gloria Flickinger found a river of rock had flowed into her backyard, burying her rear entrance nearly 2 feet in muck. Her garage basement with laundry and school supplies for her special education class was flooded in ankle-deep water.

“I almost had a heart attack when I came home,” she said.

Some of her neighbors fared much worse. Rocks had pushed in walls of some homes and knocked over storage sheds. Several cars were buried in stone.

The white Toyota Prius where one driver died was wedged in Bear Creek among boulders and a log. The windshield was shattered and the car was choked with dirt. Coroner’s officials identified the victim as Joo Hwan Lee, 48, of El Segundo.

Angela Batistelli said she had returned home with groceries to find Lee parked in her driveway. Hikers heading up 10,068-foot Mount San Antonio, also known as Mount Baldy, frequently park there and she asked the driver to move along.

Rain was falling hard when she carried some bags up to her house perched on stilts. She saw the Prius down the street; its taillights were surrounded by water and then it was gone in the roar of water filling the canyon.

Batistelli’s car, a Toyota Echo, also washed away. It was found sticking straight up, its front end buried in the silt-filled streambed. Her 250-gallon propane tank was torn from the house and skipped down the street.

The gorge that had been 5 to 15 feet deep in places was filled to the banks Monday with rocks and silt that was level with the road. Only a trickle of water remained.

Monsoonal moisture brought brief but fierce storms to mountain, desert and inland areas. In and around Palm Springs, knee-deep water flooded streets and stranded vehicles.

Several areas in the West remained under flash flood watches Monday. In Nevada, flooding closed roads on the edge of Las Vegas and at Death Valley National Park.

Parts of New Mexico were under a flash flood watch after a week of rains and damaging floods.

A midnight flash flood pinned a family of 13 from Las Vegas against a Utah canyon wall near Zion National Park on Saturday morning as rushing water pulled their tents, minivan and two other vehicles downstream. Emergency workers used rope to pull them to safety across the river.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Solano County to add War on Terror names to memorial

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
3rd-graders study nature at Fairfield park

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Pros have tough time with financial news

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: C1

 
Colliers releases Solano-Napa commercial real estate report

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: C1 | Gallery

Fairfield industrial sector remains hot

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: C1, 15 Comments

 
Calico’s legacy lives on to this day

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2, 9 Comments

 
I’m asking for your forgiveness

By Steve Kiefer | From Page: D2, 3 Comments

Sacramento rally to support child advocacy

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Snow Mountain hike set on Mother’s Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Library continues spring book sale

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Knitters group about to start in Vacaville

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Airmen from Vacaville finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Band festival brings sweet music to downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Public hearing set before Mental Health Advisory Board

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

 
CASA of Solano seeks volunteers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

.

US / World

Britain says hello to newest princess

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
NYPD officer in critical condition after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
‘Be Kind to Animals’ celebrates 100 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6, 1 Comment

Drop out thinks he can get you a tech industry job

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A9

 
Damage soars as Oakland demonstrations turn violent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 7 Comments

Japanese PM sees ‘alliance of hope’ with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Plans are at odds over fate of medical marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

‘Huggy’ returns to Capitol after 12-year hiatus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Sea Lion found wandering the streets of SF

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A11

 
Portman doing balancing act with re-election, trade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Need for cybersecurity experts met by trend in cyber camps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Lincoln’s hometown re-enact his funeral

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

ISIS kills 25 captive Yazidis in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Pope Francis set to name Serra a saint in DC ceremony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Living

Today in history: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
US colleges bringing in chaplains to serve the nonbelievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

Community Calendar: May 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
My 67-year-old husband won’t stop viewing porn on his computer

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

Crabapples come in many varieties (some aren’t even crabby)

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4 | Gallery

 
Horoscope: May 3, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

Love Your Lines: stretch marks go viral in support of women

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
T. Coraghessan Boyle wins $30,000 for short story writing

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

On his list: John Oates of Hall & Oates has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
Illness memoir ‘The Iceberg’ wins Wellcome Book Prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: C5

 
.

Sports

Mayweather wins unanimous decision over Pacquiao

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head to Travis AFB for Day 3 of NFL Draft

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Favorite American Pharoah rallies to win Kentucky Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies, Warriors ready to meet in conference semifinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Thompson ricochets to share of LPGA Tour lead with Park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Joey Logano uses big block on last lap to win Xfinity race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders fill more holes on final day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Odor’s RBI single in 10th lifts Rangers past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michael Allen leads Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Posey, Crawford homer in Giants’ 5-4 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers fortify offense on third day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Murray wins twice for BMW Open final against Kohlschreiber

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jeff Gordon leads Hendrick in pole-winning run at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kreider’s early goal leads Rangers over Capitals in Game 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul lifts Clippers past Spurs, 111-109 in Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

McIlroy in a fight with Casey until darkness gets in the way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Starbucks breakdown shows how registers have evolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Offshore wind energy sector off to slow start in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Recalls this week: Kaleidoscope toys, batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
A chip off the old Croc: The return of the ugly shoe

By Bloomberg News | From Page: C3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Review: Getting your Apple Watch? Here’s how to use it

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
US seeks to compensate victims of Sudan, Iran and Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
.

Obituaries

Sherman Elwood

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
George Benjamin Kimes Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Gerald Mc Devitt

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Fred L. Kirk

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Marcello T Gemignani

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Lois Geraldine Johnston

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A13

.

Comics

.

Summer Sunsational 2015

Solano County Fair: Something for everyone

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM6

Get ready to get down to the music at Dixon fair

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM13

Cars, cars and more cars

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM18

Farmers markets, produce stands offer regional bounty

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM19

Golf, anyone? Lots to choose from

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM20

More wine! Solano offers much to tease the palate

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM22

Get back to nature across Solano County

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM23

Mondavi Center brings world-class performances to region

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM29

Go behind the scene on Anheuser-Busch brewery tours

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM30

Try your luck at area casinos

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM37

Fair fun continues during summer in Napa

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM45