A pregnant woman was the first of 51 people trapped in a Mission Valley motel to be rescued using an inflatable raft on Wednesday.
Lifeguards got the call at 10:30 a.m., but Hotel Circle Place was already under water and guests at the Premier Inn had gathered for safety on the second floor balcony.
“I've never seen nothing like this before,” said guest Davion Niter. "I was like terrified, like, 'Oh, God, I hope it don't come to me’."
Guests were watching anxiously as the Swift Water Rescue Team set up safety lines for its inflatable rafts. They cheered as Danielle Broadnex was taken across the flooded street to safety. Her 7-year-old son, Sebastian, was rescued shortly afterwards.
A total of 47 guests and four employees were trapped in the hotel. Guests were waiting patiently on their balcony to be plucked from the Premier Hotel on Hotel Circle.
Employees were going room-to-room to make sure everyone was accounted for, according to firefighters.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen. We were really worried this morning when we got up and just saw that we were underwater,” said hotel guest Jennifer Bowerman.
Her friend was supposed to be coming to get her, so her family could switch hotels.
“My husband actually crossed this morning by foot because he had to go to work,” Bowerman said.
Bowerman stayed at the hotel with her son, Sebastian, until help arrived.
“He was okay and I was just holding onto him. I figured he was okay. They were helping him,” Bowerman said.
Cars on an adjoining street were halfway under swift moving water.
The guests and motel employees stayed calm during the rescue, and patiently waited their turn.
Paramedics took at least one woman to the hospital. Others got blankets, food and something to drink.
The motel owner says he'll get all those guests other rooms at another hotel.
A motel next door had some minor flooding, and a nearby office building lost its electrical power.