Some evacuation orders lifted in San Bernardino County towns hit by debris flows
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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. – Authorities lifted evacuation orders in San Bernardino and Riverside counties on Saturday, and hundreds of residents remained in the path of the massive floodwaters flowing into the San Jacinto River Valley because of the National Disaster Medical System, federal officials said.
The National Weather Service warned of “potentially catastrophic flooding across much of the region” that could affect 1.5 million people and claimed the life of a 12-year-old girl at her home in Riverside County on Saturday.
“We’ve had more serious incidents than we’ve had in the past,” San Bernardino County spokesman David Moore said. “We were anticipating a major event in the morning.”
At least two people died in Los Angeles, Ventura County and Riverside County, officials said.
But officials offered hope for the millions of residents threatened by the rising water.
A man in Utah, who asked not to be identified, said officials who offered to take him to his home, but he and his wife chose to stay put.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s like a movie and it’s going to be over,” he said. “We’re just thankful for what we have.”
“You can feel it in the air, people are taking shelter,” he said.
California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. warned residents that the National Guard is on its way to help, and he ordered all schools and public buildings closed to prevent panic.
“This will go on for a few days,” he said. “I hope we don’t have to use it, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
With rain and rising river levels, the water levels of the flooded rivers, including the San Jacinto, are now dangerously high. The flooding is expected to continue into next week, when the area’s rivers will finally reach the point where the floods will start to recede.
In Ventura County, the San Jacinto River reached a