Searchers in the Seven Oaks area of the San Bernardino Mountains on Tuesday, Aug. 22, found a mobile home that might have belonged to the missing woman whose residence was swept away Sunday by the surging Santa Ana River, but there was no sign of her.
The mobile home was located downstream and was filled with mud and debris, said Eric Sherwin, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
“It was destroyed,” Sherwin said.
He estimated that 100 people were involved in the search for the woman and rescue of residents of the community north of Highway 38 in the wake of the pounding by Tropical Storm Hilary.
The mobile home had been placed at Camp Seven Oaks.
Meanwhile, after rescuers hoisted eight residents to safety Monday, authorities came up with a plan to extract the remaining 20 or so who declined to be reeled into a helicopter before being flown to a turnout on Highway 38. A hand crew built a landing zone for a helicopter in a nearby campground, allowing those to wished to leave to simply step into the aircraft three or four at a time, Sherwin said.
#SBCoFD and #SBCSD evacuated by helicopter residents of Seven Oaks, where the Santa Ana River caused flooding due to Hilary. Thank you Fire and Sheriff Aviation & Search & Rescue! pic.twitter.com/Vz7qOefFUr
— San Bernardino National Forest (@SanBernardinoNF) August 22, 2023
Crews then constructed a land bridge across the river.
Access to that area remains difficult, with Seven Oaks Road and Glass Road impassable.
San Bernardino County Public Works crews were examining, among others, those two roads and Oak Glen Road farther down the hill.
“We believe roads have damage and some bridges may be out. Public Works is on-site assessing it and have equipment working to uncover the mud and debris. We’ll have further analysis in the next few days on its condition,” the department said in a message relayed by county spokesman David Wert.
Oak Glen Road was closed in both directions from Harris Road to Casa Blanca Avenue. Potato Canyon Road was closed at Oak Glen Road on both ends.
U.S. theme parks blame ‘extreme weather’ for attendance drops and financial loses
Tropical Storm Hilary: Reality or hype? Weather stories covered it all
Did Dodger Stadium flood? Was a shark on the 405 freeway? Hurricane Hilary images debunked
Map: How much rain fell in Southern California during Tropical Storm Hilary
Surfers chase down tropical swell from Hurricane Hilary
Also, Highway 38 was closed from Jenks Lake Road to Balky Horse Canyon Road because of a mudslide.
Updates on road closures can be found on the county Public Works website at dpw.sbcounty.gov.
In Riverside County, the Transportation and Land Management Agency is still working on damage assessments, spokeswoman Felisa Cardona said. Several roads in the Coachella Valley remain covered by mud and debris.
The 10 Freeway near Bob Hope Drive in the Coachella Valley was fully open Tuesday despite a partial collapse of the highway there.
Crews were out Tuesday examining roads for damage.
Shane Reichardt, a spokesman for the county Emergency Management Department, urged motorists to slow down when approaching crews.
“I saw cars just buzzing around them,” Reichardt said, kicking up dust from drying mud, resulting in decreased visibility.
Updates on the storm response can be found at the department website, rivcoready.org/active-events.
SevenOaks: Search efforts continue today for a missing adult female while other residents were successfully evacuated to safety.
A land bridge across the river was also constructed for residents choosing to remain in the area. ^eas pic.twitter.com/1TmhlMmJEh
— San Bernardino County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) August 22, 2023