3 homeless rescued from Los Angeles River as storm hits Southern California

Three homeless men have been rescued from the rain-swollen Los Angeles River in Long Beach.

Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Mike Robideaux tells the Los Angeles Times that the men woke Wednesday morning at their campsite on a sandbar to find themselves surrounded by 3 feet of swiftly moving water.

Firefighters rescued the men.

The Los Angeles River funnels runoff from the San Fernando Valley south to the Pacific Ocean. It swelled as the first of several storms moved into Southern California. They're expected to dump up to 4 inches of rain through Friday.

The National Weather Service also warns of high wind gusts and high tides that could cause flooding in coastal areas. Some areas have stacked sandbags for residents to use.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.