Flooding and Mudslides Strike Southern California 

 October 19, 2015

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Heavy rainfall caused flooding and mudslides in Southern California that shut down highways and stranded motorists in their vehicles on October 15. Several roads were washed out in the region.

The rain sent mud, debris, and boulders pouring onto Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles. Some motorists were stuck in mud and forced to spend the night in their vehicles. Some cars were buried up to their windshields in mud and debris up to five feet deep. All lanes of Interstate 5 were reopened Friday evening.

On State Route 58 in the Tehachapi Pass in Kern County, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles, a mudslide on Thursday buried almost 200 vehicles, including 75 semi-trailer trucks, in up to five feet of mud.

Almost 300 stranded motorists and passengers spent the night in shelters. Some chose to remain in their vehicles through the night. Officials predicted that it could take days to clear the roads of vehicles and mud.

Up to three inches of rain fell in a half hour on Thursday in parts of Leona Valley, Lake Hughes, and Elizabeth Lake. There were also reports of golf ball-sized hail and two funnel clouds.

No injuries were reported from the flooding, but the Los Angeles Fire Department had to rescue six people and four dogs from vehicles and another six people and six dogs from the roofs of two flooded homes.

A flash flood warning remained in effect through Friday evening. Meteorologists also warned of the possibility of thunderstorms over the weekend that could trigger additional flash flooding.

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