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Woman goes missing on hike during historic Southern California storm

Oliver Helbig/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — A 22-year-old woman is missing after she went hiking alone in Southern California during this week’s massive, multi-day storm, authorities said.

Lisei Huang left for a hike in the Mount Baldy area of the San Gabriel Mountains at about 2 p.m. Sunday, and she was last heard from about two hours later, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said. She was reported missing Sunday night.

Crews started searching for Huang at about 2:30 a.m. Monday, the sheriff’s department said. The search continued on Tuesday during very heavy snowfall, but then the risk of avalanches impeded search efforts and the rescuers “were pulled off the mountain,” the sheriff’s department said.

“Personnel will remain at the trail head and will resume searching when it is safe to do so,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.

Huang, who lives in El Monte, just outside of Los Angeles, went hiking amid an historic, multi-day storm that pummeled California with heavy rain, flooding, snow and gusty winds on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

The sheriff’s department had said it “strongly urges everyone to stay away and 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 department said. “Resources are stretched to their limits and hikers who get lost may have to wait long periods of time before help is available.”

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