One person was killed when 10 homeless people were swept away by floodwaters from an encampment. Others are still missing and presumed to be dead.
On Tuesday, a record-breaking storm swept through Ontario in southern California, approximately 40 miles east of Los Angeles.
Police stated that they were called to the scene at 9:46 AM. This was after witnesses claimed they saw a group being swept away in a sudden flood of water from a homeless camp.
Authorities estimate that 10 people were swept away. Five of the ten victims were able to be saved, while one died. Four others are missing and presumed dead.
The victim was later identified by authorities as Anthony Ray Lopez Sr., a 63-year-old man from Ontario. He was nearly three miles away from the place where he was first swept off.
According to the Ontario Fire Department, sonar technology was used in its recovery operations.
KTLA-TV interviewed one survivor about her ordeal.
“The water just came and there was nothing that we could do,” said Cassandra Gonzales. She believes her best friend is among the missing or presumed dead.
She explained that she would not go underwater if I was going to be able to get back up. “I made sure that I didn’t hit any of the tunnels’ middles.”
On Friday, four people were still missing and two missing person reports had been filed with the Ontario Police Department. Authorities stated that there is still the possibility of some missing persons being able to reach safety on their own.
Police claimed that Josephine Dominguez, 28, was among the missing.
Officials claim there are numerous “no trespassing” signs around storm drains. However, homeless people ignore them and are at great risk when it rains.
“We need to stress the dangers of these flood control channels to our public and we need to keep out of there at all costs because there is the risk of being down there because of sudden changes in weather or the flow of water. Incidents like this, unfortunately, could happen,” stated Deputy Chief Mike Wedell.
More details about this horrifying incident are available here: