LAKE HUGHES (CBSLA.com) — Torrential rain, hail and flash floods were reported in and near Lake Hughes, the National Weather Service reported Thursday afternoon.
There were also reports that a funnel cloud was spotted in the area.
Several areas had reports of flash flooding with people being trapped in cars and other vehicles in and near Lake Hughes and in Lake Elizabeth, near Lancaster.
City News Service reported that Lake Hughes Road, an area just north of Castaic, was flooded due to the quick downpour in the area.
Sky9 was overhead and captured a large mudslide. Scores of vehicles were stuck in the mud but Sky9’s Stu Mundel reported “at least six” cars were swallowed up by mud.
Flooding is also being reported near Elizabeth Lake Road and San Francisquito Canyon Road. Roads were closed in the area for hours. Late Thursday evening, LA Sheriff’s Deputies announced San Francisquito Canyon Road, Johnson Road were both open. They also announced that Lake Elizabeth Road between San Francisquito and Ranch Club Roads was also open.
Several roads in the area remained impassable.
A complete list of road closures and the status of how long it will take to reopen several of the streets and intersections is available at the Department of Public Works website.
The 5 Freeway was closed in the Castaic area.
KCAL9’s Serene Branson said that cleanup was expected to take hours and that the morning commute would “likely be a nightmare.”
She made it up the 5 Freeway Thursday evening and found it closed in many locations.
Leaving from the Pasadena area, she said it took more than two hours to get to the Castaic area.
The northbound lanes were especially slow-going. “It’s red lights for miles,” she said of the mostly-stalled traffic.
Officials with Caltrans told her they were hoping to open some of the southbound lanes Thursday evening. At 8 p.m. she reported the northbound side would be shut for “at least” the next 10 hours.
The area of Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth — encompassing the Leona Valley — received the worst pounding of rain and mud, officials said. The area is susceptible to mudslides after the 2013 Powerhouse Fire that destroyed more than 20,000 acres of brush.
KCAL9’s Peter Daut spoke to residents many of whom had pools that had more mud than water.
Naya Glynn said she had mere minutes to rescue nearly 20 horses from her ranch.
“We went to pull them out immediately and within 45 seconds, the water came up three feet higher,” Glynn said.
Her horses were understandably spooked.
“You can imagine, they were going to jump into my arms,” she said.
Authorities said they’d never seen anything like, or as quick as, today’s flooding.
“I’ve been out here for 24years,” said Capt. Don Ford of the LA County Sheriff’s Office, “and I’ve never seen this much water in 24 years. You really can’t tell how fast it’s moving, or how safe it is [just by looking at it.]”
Several roads were scheduled to be closed throughout the night in the Leona Valley.
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