Flash floods and mudslides prompted several severe weather warnings in Los Angeles after a strong storm system swept through Southern California.
National Weather Service said that Antelope Valley in northern LA County is experiencing heavy rain that has caused “life threatening flooding.” As a result, a thunderstorm warning has been issued and will be in effect until 6:45 p.m. local time. A flash flooding warning has also been issued which will be in effect until 5 p.m. local time. The weather service further said that as much as four to six inches per hour of rain is falling in some areas, near Fairmont Dam and Leona Valley.
Flash floods were also experienced near Elizabeth Lake and the Lake Hughes area. Mudslides left several drivers stranded and getting stuck in the mud. Thousands of others were asked to detour to other routes that could take as many as four hours or more to traverse through the mountainous region in Southern California. According to USA Today, a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 5 was flooded near Fort Tejon, the California Highway Patrol said.
While no injuries have been reported, the Los Angeles County Fire Department airlifted four people who were trapped in their vehicles, Humberto Agurcia, department spokesman, said. Andrew Mack, CHP Officer, said, “Due to the drought and fires, all the rain coming down heavily is causing floods. We have a lot of people up there trapped on the roadway.” In Palmdale, homes were damaged as a result of mudslides. An aerial video showed a mobile home being swept away by the mud flow.
The flooding and severe weather is being attributed to a low pressure system and the accompanying rainfall. As reported by RT, David Dantic, LA County Fire Department Inspector, said, “Our biggest concern is people getting caught in mud and debris. We want people to know that overflows are not very safe.” He added, “The conditions of the roads are very tough to get through, so we are having our helicopters overhead trying to get a better vantage point. There were reports that there are people in the truck there. … We’re getting reports there might be other people stuck in their cars.”
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