LOS ANGELES (AP) As a fierce storm barreled toward Southern California on Saturday, searchers found the body of a third avalanche victim and rescued a missing snowboarder who survived a frigid night in the San Gabriel Mountains.
Taking advantage of a lull in a week of storms, searchers found the body of Christopher Allport, one of two people reported missing Friday near the Mountain High ski resort in Wrightwood. The other person, Oscar Gonzales Jr., 24, was found Saturday after spending the night on the mountain.
Officials were "confident that there's no one else that's been missing" and called off search efforts, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Luis Castro said.
Allport, 60, was confirmed dead by someone at his family home who declined to give her name. A character actor who has appeared on such TV shows as "ER," "Felicity," and "Matlock," Allport wrote a story that appeared in the Los Angeles Times in 2004 about the pleasures and dangers of backcountry skiing.
"Any excursion into the mountains requires awareness," he wrote. "Have fun, but be careful."
Gonzales told The Riverside Press-Enterprise that he got lost when he left the marked ski trails.
"I made the wrong decision about going out of bounds," Gonzales said. "I hit a rock."
Gonzales said he was not hurt but he walked at least 13 miles overnight to keep warm, thinking of his 5 1/2-year-old daughter, Jaden Ann. He said he found an old airplane fuselage and slept in it until about 4:30 a.m., when he went to an open field and waited until he was rescued by a sheriff's helicopter.
The avalanches a day earlier killed Michael McKay, 23, an off-duty member of the resort's ski patrol, and Darin Bodie Coffey, 31, both of Wrightwood. Both were skiing out of the resort boundaries.
Avalanches are unusual in the San Gabriel Mountains, authorities said, but so was the 3 feet or more of new snow that hit the region in a matter of days this week.
Despite the avalanches, about 6,000 people on Saturday swarmed to the Mt. Baldy Ski Resorts, about 80 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, to ski and snowboard, resort officials said.
Meanwhile, large swaths of California braced for another bout of heavy rain. Flash flood watches were in effect through this evening, with thunderstorms, hail and winds gusting as high as 50 mph possible.
National Weather Service meteorologist Richard Thompson said up to 8 inches of rain would fall in the hills outside Los Angeles starting Saturday evening and area ski resorts could be buried by as much as 3 feet of powder.
Storms have dumped rain onto Southern California since Monday, with some areas receiving more moisture in that time than during the entire rainy season last year.
In the mountain resort town of Lake Arrowhead, crews struggled to restore power to more than 2,000 customers who had been in the dark for two days after an earlier storm knocked down power lines.
In Orange County, residents of five canyons that were denuded by wildfires last year were urged to follow a voluntary evacuation order because of the risk of mudslides.
In Oregon, residents prepared for a storm expected to dump heavy snow on some areas on Sunday and Monday. At least two traffic deaths were blamed on icy conditions Saturday.