At least 20 campers were trapped by flooding that washed away cabins and vehicles at the El Capitan Canyon and Resort Campground near the Pacific Coast in Southern California Friday (Jan. 20) morning, but all were safely rescued.
The situation began to develop when floodwaters overtook parts of the campground just after 9 a.m. local time Friday morning. Some were trapped in their cars in the private campground’s parking lot, the report added. Crews worked quickly to extricate those trapped, and all were successfully rescued with no injuries, the Associated Press reported.
Floodwaters raged down El Capitan Creek, carrying away some five cabins and 15 vehicles. Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason told the Los Angeles Times that last summer’s Sherpa fire left a large burn scar, which put the area in danger of flooding events.
“All the water was coming down from the torrential downpour higher and higher and higher. Then all the debris kept backing up,” said campground employee Todd Martin. “Then it took out the bridges and overflowed the bank, took out a bunch of cabins, cars. It was pretty hectic.”
A swift water rescue was necessary for at least one person in the minutes following the flood’s arrival at the campground. Capt. Dave Zaniboni, Santa Barbara County Fire public information officer, reported that one person had to be saved after getting trapped in his or her car, and another person was able to get out of a vehicle without assistance.
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