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Four people rescued from swollen Los Angeles River after weekend storm

Four people were rescued from the Los Angeles River early Monday after quickly rising waters stranded the group on a tiny island in Atwater Village, Los Angeles firefighters said.

The two men and two women were spotted by a driver on the 5 freeway stranded on a grassy and brush-covered island about half a mile north of Los Feliz Boulevard before 2:45 a.m., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.

The group was stranded after more than an inch of rain dropped across the Southland over the weekend, saturating local hillsides and filling the river several feet. More than an inch of rain dropped in Pacoima, Pasadena, near the Hollywood Reservoir and Van Nuys between Saturday and Monday morning, the National Weather Service said.

More than 100 firefighters positioned themselves downstream and along the riverbank to help in the rescue, Scott said. A swift-water rescue crew in an inflatable boat swung across the 35-mph current to the island, pulled all four on board and then returned to the shore.

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The four people were treated for exposure to the cold and rain but were otherwise unharmed. They were taken to the hospital in fair condition, Scott said.

With the storm expected over the weekend, LAFD had activated two swift-water rescue crews Sunday night and put them on standby for incidents just like this, Scott said.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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