22-year-old woman missing for days after going hiking during historic Southern California storm

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

Lifei 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 the risk of avalanches impeded search efforts and the rescuers “were pulled off the mountain,” the sheriff’s department said.

Volunteers are at the trail heads on Thursday, but conditions on the mountain are still too unsafe for rescuers to hike in, a sheriff’s department spokesperson said.

“We will continue to assess the conditions to determine our course of action,” the spokesperson said Thursday.

Huang, who lives in El Monte, just outside of Los Angeles, went hiking amid an historic, multiday 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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