Flash flood warnings were issued Monday afternoon as San Bernardino County and Riverside County residents are still feeling the effect of Tropical Storm Kay, which brought heavy rain and flooding — prompting road closures in the Forest Falls, Oak Glen and Lake Mathews areas.
The San Bernardino County flooding impacted the burn scar areas of the Apple and El Dorado fires from 2020, according to Eric Sherwin, spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department. “Significant” debris flows impacted the communities of Forest Falls and Oak Glen, Sherwin said.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department closed Oak Glen Road at Casa Blanca Avenue due to flooding, the city of Yucaipa said.
In the Forest Falls area, Valley of the Falls Drive at Prospect Drive was affected by mudslides, the California Highway Patrol log showed.
Highway 38 in the San Bernardino Mountains was also closed between Lakewood Drive and Jenks Lake West due to mudslides from the flooding and debris in the area, Caltrans said.
No injuries were reported in the flooding, Sherwin said. County fire crews as well as crews with Cal Fire San Bernardino were assessing the damage into the evening, according to Sherwin.
FOREST FALLS: #SBCoFD on scene in the Forest Falls area with rain related flooding / mud flows. Reports of possible impact to homes. Multiple power lines as well as gas lines affected. Firefighters / USAR crews are conducting a st by st assessment of homes for possible rescues
— San Bernardino County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) September 12, 2022
A rainfall gauge near both the Apple and El Dorado burn scars recorded 2.45 inches of rain in just an hour, according to Adam Roser, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Thunderstorm cells tracking south to north near Corona unloaded heavy rainfall along the 15 Freeway and on roads in the vicinity of Lake Mathews, prompting closures.
The rain bursts flooded lanes on southbound 15 Freeway at Dos Lagos Drive about 3:50 p.m. Around the same time, the same cell dumped copious precipitation on Estelle Mountain and Gavilan Springs roads, less than a mile south of Lake Mathews, the California Highway Patrol said.
This caused a flash flood, trapping a driver and passenger in a sedan on Estelle Mountain Road, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire. Crews reached the location within a few minutes and discovered the occupants standing on the roof of the vehicle, officials said. The pair were safely extricated and were not injured.
A flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Service was effective through 7:45 p.m. and covered areas including Riverside, San Bernardino, Moreno Valley, Rialto, Redlands, Yucaipa, Perris, Highland, Colton and western Beaumont.
Another warning was issued until 9 p.m. covering the areas of Colton, San Bernardino, Highland and higher elevations in the mountains.
Flash Flood Warning including San Bernardino CA, Highland CA and Colton CA until 9:00 PM PDT pic.twitter.com/jJQ4ijjFSB
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) September 13, 2022
Maintenance crews are already on scene cleaning debris. pic.twitter.com/Ywq4SOcCEc
— Caltrans District 8 (@Caltrans8) September 12, 2022
Flooding also caused Cal State San Bernardino to close Monday while damage from flooding was cleaned up.
“We’re not done with the tropical storm just yet,” said Sherwin. The department has responded to numerous calls for service regarding the flooding.
City News Service contributed to this story.