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A California hiker is still missing after 3 others recovered from Mount Baldy

<i>From Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team</i><br/>Rescuers hike to recover three Mount Baldy hikers who also went missing on Sunday.
From Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team
Rescuers hike to recover three Mount Baldy hikers who also went missing on Sunday.

By Brammhi Balarajan and Sarah Davis, CNN

(CNN) — A California woman is still missing after disappearing Sunday on a hike at Mount Baldy, as an atmospheric river plagued California with heavy rain, snow and life-threatening flooding.

Lifei Huang, 22, set out for a solo hike at 2 p.m. on Sunday and has not been heard from since 4 p.m. that day. West Valley Search and Rescue began recovery efforts at 2:30 a.m. Monday, but have been limited by “extremely heavy snowfall” and “avalanche risks,” according to a Tuesday news release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

On Wednesday, San Bernardino department spokesperson Gloria Huerta told CNN crews will resume searching when conditions become less dangerous. Huerta said crews are still stationed at trailheads in case Huang “walks out on her own.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recovered three other experienced hikers on the mountain after a four-hour search Monday morning, the department said in a news release. Rescuers had told the group to shelter overnight Sunday and all three were medically cleared after the rescue.

Mount Baldy has been the site of other hikes and drives gone wrong. A woman spent four nights trapped in her car after toppling to the bottom of a California canyon. British actor Julian Sands was discovered dead on the mountain in June 2023 after he went missing on a hike earlier in the year.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department urged residents to “refrain from mountain activities during this inclement weather.”

“The weather has effectively buried the mountain in snow and it is highly likely hikers will get into trouble,” the release said. “Resources are stretched to their limits and hikers who get lost may have to wait long periods of time before help is available.”

Mount San Antonio, better known as Mount Baldy, is approximately 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Los Angeles had its wettest day in almost 20 years on Sunday, experiencing about a typical month’s worth of rain in a day.

California’s rapid flood waters drove residents into dangerous situations over the last week. Fire crews rescued three people on Sunday who climbed into a tree to escape the flood in San Bernardino, and at least nine weather-related deaths have been reported in the state.

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