Flash flooding engulfs parts of Southern California

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A sudden downpour triggered a flash flood in Acton that stopped a Metrolink train, washed out roads, trapped cars in a river of mud and overflowed onto the southbound 14 Freeway. (KABC)

A sudden downpour triggered a flash flood in Acton that stopped a Metrolink train, washed out roads, trapped cars in a river of mud and overflowed onto the southbound 14 Freeway Thursday afternoon.

About 200 people were stuck on the Metrolink, which was stopped after the water eroded part of the tracks both in front and behind the train.

The train itself and its passengers were not in any immediate danger, but rescue crews had to decide whether to evacuate the train or risk sending it back to departing station in Santa Clarita.

Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson told Eyewitness News that the Antelope Valley Line train 215 originated at Union Station in Los Angeles and was heading toward Lancaster.

As the train passed through the Via Princessa Station in Santa Clarita, heading toward Acton, a section of ground near the tracks was washed out by the flood waters.

Johnson said the train then tried to head back to the station, but another portion of tracks was also affected by the flood waters.


Other cars were seen getting stuck in water at least 2-3 feet deep.

The train sat on the tracks for more than an hour while officials evaluated their options and the condition of the tracks.

LA County Fire Department personnel helped several passengers with medical issues during the waiting period, while sheriff's deputies had to deal with several unruly passengers.

Eventually by about 7:30 p.m. they decided to send the train back to the Via Princessa Station with the passengers.

Anyone who needed to go to other parts of Acton, Palmdale or Lancaster would be given an alternate form of transportation.

Stations along the corridor would be affected, according to Johnson, with at least 1,000 people total on about four trains being delayed as the train moved back.

While the train was stranded between tracks, Johnson said there were no safe areas to detrain passengers unless they had an urgent need to get off in which case firefighters helped them out.

Johnson added that the tracks issue would continue to affect Friday morning commutes, especially for people in Lancaster and Palmdale.

Train service was expected to continue Friday from Union Station to Via Princesa, but trains were not expected to travel past there to the three additional stations through Friday.

Commuters were advised to check Metrolink's Twitter feed for the latest information.

About an hour of sudden downpour, the rushing water first washed out the intersection at Red Rover Mine Road and Sierra Highway, and then overflowed onto the 14. Cars continued trying to cross over the growing stream and avoid being washed away.

A pickup truck was seen stuck in the rushing waters. The driver climbed out of the truck and waited on the roof for rescue crews to arrive as water rushed by.

Eventually a rescue crew helicoptered in, lowering a firefighter to hoist the man up to safety, avoiding some power lines in the area.

Syracuse Avenue turned into a raging river of mud.

Other cars were seen getting stuck in water at least 3-4 feet deep.

Related Topics:
floodingflash floodingsouthern californiasevere weatherrainweatherLos Angeles
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