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Mudslides and rescues in Cathedral City: Hurricane Hilary leaves a trail of destruction

The aftermath of Hurricane Hilary has left Cathedral City reeling from the impact of serious storm damage and widespread flooding. Some neighborhoods were hit hard, with dozens of homes damaged and a flow of water and mud surrounding residential areas and covering roadways.

"It's just been absolutely chaotic these past couple of days," said resident Ashton Corona. He and his family have been shoveling mud from their driveway to regain access to the property. Along with residents using shovels, heavy construction equipment has been deployed to uncover roadways that have been choked by mud flows.

"I've never seen anything like this ever. The people are devastated because in some homes, the mud went all the way into the front door, all the way to their backyard," said Rose, another resident of Cathedral City.

The local fire crews have been working tirelessly to rescue more than 50 residents who were trapped due to the flooding. Dramatic images emerged Monday of 14 seniors being rescued from a care home using a bulldozer, some of whom were unable to walk.

Emergency responders Tuesday used ladders from adjacent homes' backyards to gain access to trapped residents. One woman was pulled from her casita, surrounded by up to 4 feet of mud and without power for days. "We received a call of distress. They went in through a window, and we were able to carry her out the window across the mud, and then lift her up over the wall using ladders," said Battalion Chief Sanborn with Cathedral City Fire Department.

Another woman became trapped in her car after trying to leave her house into the mud-filled street. Fire crews trekked through 2 feet of mud to rescue her. Firefighters have urged people to stay home and off the roads to facilitate the ongoing cleanup efforts.

Battalion Chief Sanborn emphasized: "We're here to help. But stay off the roads and stay out of the mud for now."

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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