PICO RIVERA (CBSLA.com/AP) — Authorities Friday rescued two women and a litter of puppies who were trapped in the middle of the San Gabriel River during a pre-winter storm that drenched the state.

Los Angeles County firefighters and a Swift Water Rescue Team responded just after 5 a.m. to the San Gabriel River Trail where they began rescue efforts.

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CBS2’s Jasmine Viel reported the women became stranded on an island.

When the Los Angeles County sheriff’s air rescue crew arrived, one of the women was on top of a shelter and the other was standing knee-deep in water, said Deputy Brice Stella, a tactical medic.

Stella hoisted one woman up but the other wanted to stay because she feared her dogs would be left behind. Stella convinced her to go into the helicopter by saying he’d do his best to rescue the dogs.

The helicopter crew emptied two large bags normally used to store gear, then lowered Stella down with the bags.

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“I was able to fit all the dogs,” he said. “They actually looked well-cared-for.”

Additional crews were positioned downstream in case anyone fell into the river.

Authorities said water was flowing around 10 mph at the time of their rescue.

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