Cars get stuck in flooded underpasses

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The storm that hit the Bay Area on Thursday left cars stuck in flooded underpasses, parking lots and on other roads throughout the region.

On Thursday, a roadway on Ashby Avenue in Berkeley was covered in several feet of water and unfortunately some vehicles drove into it because they didn't realize how deep the water was. "Waist high full of water, car drove in, didn't see the water and basically got swamped," tow truck driver Steve Simonson said.

PHOTOS: Severe storm hits the Bay Area

Simonson pulled a submerged car from flooded Ashby Avenue in Berkeley. That was after fishing out another car from a pond at Estuary Park.

"Started getting a little deep, so he turns around and drove right into the pond and went nose down into the pond, back wheels sticking up in the air and wasn't going any further, so we pulled it out and actually started it up and he drove away," Scott Simonich, from Ken Betts Towing, said.

From Rohnert Park to Emeryville, drivers found themselves suddenly in high water. It's a phenomenon that hasn't happened in the Bay Area in a long time. And that lack of experience showed in the way people drove, according to CHP Ofc. Matthew Ahmu. "There were a lot of cars that actually got stuck in the water. As the flooding continued, the water rose above the windows in the car and the car was completely submerged," he said.

In Rohnert Park, several cars tried to navigate a flooded roadway and some didn't make it to the other side.

The next stop for many water-logged cars is a trip to a trusted mechanic. Oakland's Vahid Navavzadeh says some can be saved if they are dried out promptly and others not so much.

Laura: "What happens when water gets into the engine itself?"

"Inside the engine has to be air and the fuel. They mix and the car runs and if water gets inside, the water and the fuel not going to start the car," Navavzadeh said.

Sometimes those engines die forever or need thousands of dollars in repair. As for the cars that were totally submerged in water Thursday night, they are likely totaled.
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