SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After a brief reprieve across the northern half of the state on Monday, wet weather was expected to make another appearance across most of California on Christmas Day.
The wet conditions led to the early-morning rescue Monday of a man who was clinging for hours to a clump of bushes in the fast-moving Los Angeles River. Firefighters spent nearly two hours using various measures to rescue the man as an inflatable boat was able to reach him in the waters estimated to be traveling at 30 mph.
He was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
In Northern California, a state Highway Patrol helicopter crew was being credited for the dramatic rescue of a 58-year-old motorist who clung to the roof of his pickup truck after his truck was stranded in rushing flood waters on a rural roadway in Livermore late Sunday night.
CHP Officer Jan Sears told the San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/TkRUyj ) that the man was driving toward a ranch when his truck was overcome by a storm-swelled creek. The man called his daughter, who then called 911.
The CHP helicopter was called to the scene after other emergency crews could not reach the driver. The paramedic on board grabbed the driver from the rising waters and returned the man to shore.
The driver was treated for hypothermia at a local hospital. His name has not been released.
Otherwise, the severe storms that saturated Northern California over the weekend have helped give a much-needed boost to regional reservoirs and created ideal skiing conditions along the Sierra.
The downpours have kept the grass green for cattle feeds and replenished reservoirs, San Joaquin County Agriculture Commissioner Scott Hudson said Monday.
"It's much better than what it was at this time last year when we were fairly dry," Hudson said. "This year's rain has come in intervals where it's keeping us saturated, but not flooded."