Amid severe storm conditions in California, a heroic helicopter rescue was made of a man who was swept into the raging Los Angeles River.
Heart-pounding footage shows a first responder dangling over the rain-swollen river south of Washington Boulevard in the Boyle Heights neighbourhood before pulling the man to safety.
The Los Angeles Fire Department ground and air crews responded at about 5 pm on Wednesday as the man, who is yet to be identified, clinging for his life on a ‘concrete sheer wall.’
After the man was hoisted to safety, he was taken to LAC+USC Medical Center for hypothermia treatment.
The dramatic footage shot by KTLA’s Sky5 showed the man desperately trying to stay above the churning muddy flood waters as an emergency crew member made several attempts to reach him.
Unforgiving high winds and rain appeared to stifle the rescue mission before the first responder managed to grab hold of the waterlogged man.
It remains unclear how the man came to be in the river or how long he spent in the frigid waters before he was rescued.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands remain under evacuation orders as other Californians face blackouts, landslides, and flooding from the brutal winter deluge.
California Governor Gavin Newsom dubbed this extreme shift from drought and wildfires to flooding and snowstorms ‘weather whiplash,’ while surveying the damage to an agricultural region in the state’s central coast on Wednesday.
Just days after officials in Orange County declared a local state of emergency, residents of four residential structures in San Clemente were forced to evacuate after a hillside at the rear of their properties collapsed.
The National Weather Service has recorded slightly under two feet of rain in downtown L.A. in 2023, making this year, so far, the 14th wettest in more than 140 years.
Heading into the weekend, the weather service predicted minor precipitation across California, followed by more substantial storms next week.