Major flooding in Long Beach shuts down roads, delays drivers

Christiane Cordero Image
Thursday, February 1, 2024
Flooding in Long Beach submerges several vehicles
At least four vehicles were submerged in the water as roads flooded in Long Beach.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Major flooding shut down a portion of the 710 Freeway in Long Beach and delayed drivers all throughout the city as the first of two storms set to hit Southern California doused the region.

The southbound lanes of the freeway near Pacific Coast Highway were shut down just before 10 a.m. but have since reopened due to flooding.

The area was filled with cars and trucks slowly making their way through a couple of feet of standing water. AIR7 HD was above the scene as two semi-trucks drove through the flooded underpass with several vehicles trailing behind.

On Sepulveda Boulevard, at least four cars got fully stuck and partially submerged in water near an industrial area on the west side of Long Beach.

One woman told Eyewitness News it happened too quickly for her to react. She described hitting the gas and feeling the tires on her car spin as the vehicle was overtaken by the water.

"The water comes in fast, so at that point you can't really act on anything," she said.

Tow trucks were on scene to pull the vehicles from the water.

Over near PCH and Canal Avenue, Eyewitness News also captured workers at Tom's Restaurant cleaning up rainwater that apparently made its way inside. The area near Del Amo Boulevard and the 710 Freeway was also impacted by flooding, according to police.

A viewer sent Eyewitness News a video from La Pasada Street and E Anaheim Road where several vehicles were stalled along the street. The water has since cleared but vehicles had to be towed. A neighborhood near 68th Street also saw flooded streets.

A flash flood warning was issued around 8:30 a.m. for much of the South Bay area, including Torrance, Carson, Harbor City, Long Beach, Palos Verdes and the Port of Los Angeles.

Forecasters said rain was falling in that area at rates between 1 and 1.5 inches per hour, dramatically raising the risk of flooding. The warning will be in place until about 11:15 a.m.

"When the front exits the eastern edge of L.A. County around noon, the steady rain will turn to showers and the amount of rain will decrease,'' according to the National Weather Service. "The front will bring about 2 inches of rain to most of the coasts and valleys. The south slopes south of Point Conception will likely see 3 to 5 inches of rain.''

Forecasters noted that while the steady rain will turn to showers Thursday afternoon, there will still be a 10-20 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms that "could produce rain rates in excess of 1 inch per hour.''

City News Service, Inc. contributed to this report.