Massive rain storm prompts flooding and river rescues in Mission - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Massive rain storm prompts flooding and river rescues in Mission Valley

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Flooding in Mission Valley. (Tuesday, February 28, 2017) Flooding in Mission Valley. (Tuesday, February 28, 2017)
Swift water rescue in Mission Valley, after a man was stranded in the San Diego River, holding on to the railing until emergency crews arrived. (Tuesday, February 28, 2017) Swift water rescue in Mission Valley, after a man was stranded in the San Diego River, holding on to the railing until emergency crews arrived. (Tuesday, February 28, 2017)

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Record rainfall wreaked havoc across San Diego County. The heavy rain destroyed cars, flooded parking structures and left some people stranded.

A National Weather Service flood warning remains in effect for the San Diego River, which crested at 14.15 feet at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday. Streets and parking lots at Fashion Valley Mall were closed and Fashion Valley Road was under water and a nearby MTS bus stop was closed. 

[VIDEO: Flooding in Mission Valley prompts swift water rescues]

Overnight, the river rescue team saved a man who was clinging to a tree under the trolley station platform in fast-moving water. Crews put him in a yellow inflatable boat and he was taken safely out of the area. The team initially searched for a woman after 911 calls indicated that someone needed help and that's when they spotted the man and pulled him out of the water.

Another swift water rescue happened in Mission Valley around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. A man was stranded in the rain-swollen San Diego River. He held on to the railing for about 30 minutes before emergency crews arrived.

Other rescues were also reported in Rancho Bernardo.
     

Other trouble spots included the Premier Inn in Mission Valley, which flooded overnight as water rushed into the first floor. The building was surrounded by water throughout Tuesday morning and started to recede in the afternoon at the hotel on Hotel Circle Place.

Firefighters reported that dozens of hotel guests were trapped for hours including children, pets, elderly folks and some people with medical conditions. 

After the power went out, crews said guests were told to move to higher ground. Firefighters said the San Diego River above flood stage at more than 14 feet, spilling out and swallowing streets throughout Mission Valley. 

About 30 guests were rescued by emergency crews and placed onto inflatable boats.

Some tourists called this a vacation nightmare:

"It was emotional for me. I've been apart from my husband all night, I was terrified all night,” said hotel guest, Kelly Applegate.

Other guests said they grabbed their pets and children and stayed calm. 

"I'm not leaving my cat there. The car could stay. He wanted me to cover his eyes,” said hotel guest, Teri Miller.

Although rescue workers could walk through the water, which was about two feet deep, they used inflatable boats to be safe due to swift moving water. 

There were no reports of injuries and the hotel guests said they're grateful rescue crews who worked so quickly Tuesday morning. 

Those displaced were checked into other hotels. The Red Cross is also assisting.

Emergency crews advise the public to be safe, stay clear of flooded areas and "turn around, don't drown."

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