LOS ANGELES (CBSNewYork/AP) — Sunshine and rainbows alternated with thunderclaps, downpours, snow and hail on Monday as the last in a trio of storms broke up over California after flooding roads and homes and trapping people in swamped vehicles.
The National Weather Service had warned that the system could be among the strongest storms in years, and it delivered.
At least three people have died as as result of the severe weather in California, but many more were saved by brave rescuers pulled from powerful flood waters.
One of the largest storms in years hit the Golden State over the weekend, with heavy rain and rushing water submerging much of southern California Sunday, causing mudslides and turning typically dry roads into rivers.
Emergency crews around the region raced to save stranded drivers. The rescue of a trapped family with a young child from racing waters was caught on camera. A father and son were pulled from their stalled truck overnight.
When 15-foot waves in San Diego dragged two women into the ocean Saturday, an onlooker dove in to save one of them.
“When she was kind of close, I jumped back in and I don’t know,” he said. “I just got her and I threw her over my shoulder.”
Fighting the waves, rescue crews searched for over 40 minutes before finding the second woman and pulling her to shore. She died late Sunday.
Near Los Angeles, roadways were covered with nearly four feet of water, forcing lifeguards to go door-to-door to help families.
“We have been here for about five years and this is the highest we have seen it get,” homeowner Tim Way told CBS2’s Mireya Villarreal.
Flood watches and warnings remained in place for much of Southern California.
Parts of Los Angeles have received more than 13 inches of rain since October, more than 200 percent more than expected.
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