Torrential overnight rains were giving way to mostly sunny skies Saturday in the Southland for a crisp Christmas eve, but it wasn’t easy for a lot of people during the downpour.
A mudslide shut down the California Incline road from the Santa Monica cliffs down to Pacific Coast Highway along the ocean.
And a man — possibly homeless — and his dog were rescued from an island in the Los Angeles River in Glasell Park.
And heavy rain made driving tough for a lot of people trying to travel for the holiday.
The river rescue took place shortly before midnight Friday near 1555 N. San Fernando Road. The man, possibly camping on the small island in the normally placid river, was plucked to safety by firefighters who reached him in an inflatable boat, said Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Firefighters provided the man with a personal flotation device and he was able to make his way back to shore, Scott said.
The man, though cold and wet, was not injured and declined medical services, Scott said. The dog, too, was uninjured and the two made their way on solid ground and into the night.
This event was similar to rescuers coming to the aid of some homeless women in an earlier rainstorm, saving them and a number of puppies. It is common for homeless individuals to set up makeshift residences on islands in the usually safe river, but that situation can be dangerous when the racing river fills during heavy rains.
Meanwhile, Santa Monica police said the California Incline in Santa Monica was closed due to a mud slide. City employees worked through the cold and wet night to clean up the road before daybreak. No injuries have been reported.
The heavily used road had been shut for 17 months for repairs and only reopened in late summer.
While it will be mostly sunny Saturday in the Southland, it’ll be cold, with highs in the mid 50s to maybe 60. Overnight winds will continue into the nighttime hours of Christmas Eve, and temperatures will be really brisk – from the upper 30s to mid 40s.
Christmas Day will be partly cloudy with about the same temperatures as Saturday. But gusty winds should disappear in time for newly unwrapped toys to be played with by excited children – if they dress warmly.
— Staff and wire reports
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