One of California’s best features is its weather: Generally mild year-round, boasting agricultural prowess and many areas that see incredibly mild winters.
But the state still experiences its fair share of natural disasters in the form of fires, earthquakes and floods. Certain parts of Southern California have been especially hit by flooding this week as Tropical Storm Kay passed through, prompting many rescue efforts and evacuations.
San Bernardino County was especially hard hit, and experienced devastating mudslides in mountainous areas.
“Throughout the flooding incident, first responders have had multiple reports of persons unaccounted for,” the San Bernardino County Fire Facebook page shared on Tuesday. “Rescuers have taken each one of these seriously and have continued to search the populated areas with more than 120 personnel, specialized search dogs & heavy equipment.
“At this point all persons but one have been accounted for. Specialized urban search & rescue teams have searched for more than 24 hours in the area of Forest Falls where the resident was last reported. As of this release, we continue to search for the unaccounted party.”
On the same day, three San Bernardino Police Officers were in the right place at the right time to rescue a mother and her two children, ages 6 and 14, as flash flooding suddenly swept them off their feet.
According to NBC News, the three officers — who had all been on the force less than a year — were originally responding to a disturbance call when the street started to go underwater.
“The rain just came out of nowhere, and as I’m debriefing them, we look over, we notice that the mother and … her two children begin to start falling in the water,” Officer Gabriel Rodriguez told NBC News.
The water was knee-deep and surprisingly powerful. The officers snapped up the woman and the two children and worked to cross the street to higher ground.
“We all just underestimated the power of that wash that was just moving so rapidly that it was able to just sweep us like that,” Rodriguez continued.
SBPD rescued a family of 3 from fast moving waters during a flash flood warning in San Bernardino county, the family had originally called about a unrelated problem and as they were heading back to their vehicle strong rains started to impact the area and they were swept away, pic.twitter.com/EAEuWh0Qhw
— SoCal News Outlet (@SocalNewsOutlet) September 12, 2022
The moment was caught on bodycam as well as being filmed by SoCal News Outlet, which shared the video on social media.
“Thank you @SocalNewsOutlet for capturing our officers rescue a mother and her children from being swept away during a dangerous flash flood,” San Bernardino PD tweeted. “Our officers do not encounter swift water floods often, however it doesn’t stop them from jumping into action and saving lives.”
The three have been commended for their lifesaving efforts. They’ve proved their mettle early on in their careers, with one of the three having been on the job for only two weeks.
“I’m only two weeks off of training and this is like the most critical incident, I guess, that … I’ve been in,” Rodriguez said.
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