In San Bernardino mountains, residents hit by devastating mudslide fear more to come
By JOSEPH FUENTES
10th November 2014
As the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office works to rescue residents of their homes as mudslides continue to swallow homes, schools, churches and other structures in and near the Sierra Madre foothills, residents in this mountain community are increasingly panicking about their chances of survival.
The latest mudslide came Wednesday as a wall of dust and debris moved into the community of Poway, near the San Bernardino County line.
The sheriff’s office said the estimated death toll from the mudslide in Poway alone could be as high as 200 – more than double the number of people killed or left injured yesterday, when residents in Agoura Hills and Sierra Madre saw mudslides as well as aftershocks following storms last month.
Residents of a nearby home, which was swept away early Wednesday, said they feared there will be more mudslides, particularly those that are located in the foothills where people were caught in a storm that produced heavy, wet conditions the weekend before.
A mudslide that ripped through Poway on Tuesday night left at least five homes and several other structures completely demolished.
Sheriff’s Dep. Brianneum J. Smith said Wednesday around 4 a.m. he was getting reports of mudslides as they destroyed several homes and buildings, including a church.
Smith said they had received up to 200 reports and about 10 calls for help, and added the number of rescues would probably increase overnight, “as the water level continues to rise.”
“A number of homes have been destroyed,” San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Ed Corbett said in a news release. “There is only a small window of time before water begins to surge downhill and begin to take over the area … I can’t tell you how many there are because