Rescuers spent most of Monday night and Tuesday morning rescuing stranded motorists and transients from rain-swollen streets and usually dry riverbeds.
Apple Valley Fire Protection personnel and San Bernardino County's Swift Water Rescue Team worked through the night to rescue a man whose pick-up truck became stuck along Rock Springs Road near Deep Creek Road at about 9:50 p.m. Monday, fire officials said. County officials were also at the scene, Tracey Martinez, spokeswoman for County Fire.
Several attempts to pull the man from the truck he was sitting on had to be scrapped because the water was moving too quickly and it became too dangerous, according to Chief Art Bishop of the AVFPD. Eventually, using a skip loader, he was rescued at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
A little more than two hours after the man was pulled from his stranded vehicle, a compact Honda drove through the same area, becoming stuck as well. That man was hoisted to safety by a helicopter a little before 7 a.m., fire officials said.
"In the Rock Springs [Road] incident, both drivers drove around the barricades to cross the roadway," Martinez said.
In rainy weather, the true danger of driving on wet roads can be masked.
"If there's swift water going through the roadway, turn around. There may not be any road anymore but you can't see it," Martinez cautioned. "There may be large potholes and sinkholes under what appears to be a puddle and a motorists won't know until it's too late."
According to Martinez, Deep Creek is about 17 feet deep at one of its deepest points.
"If you see running water, turn around and find another direction," she said. "If your vehicle is caught in the waters, call 911 and stay inside your vehicle. Don't get out of the vehicle and think you can cross rushing water."
More rain is expected to hit the region through Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.
According to Bishop, more than 1,000 sandbags have been given away since Monday. The County stations are also offering citizens sandbags to help protect their properties.
Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.