Flash floods cover roads in mud, damage homes, cause train delays in Acton

ACTON, Calif. (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 an hour after the sudden downpour, the rushing water first washed out the intersection at Red Rover Mine Road and Sierra Highway, and then overflowed onto the freeway. 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.

It was one of four air rescues the department had to conduct during the sudden storm.

Syracuse Avenue turned into a raging river of mud. Other cars were seen getting stuck in water at least 3-4 feet deep.

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Fire rescue crews airlifted a man to safety after his pickup truck got stuck in an Acton flash flood.

The backyards of some homes and fences were also overwhelmed by water. The quick and sudden flooding left homes and businesses damaged, which could take days or even weeks to clean up.

By Thursday evening, bulldozers were seen clearing thick mud and debris off the roads and in residential areas, where some homes were deep in mud.

Hillary Mulligan's home was right in the middle of the rushing water's path. She wore rainboots inside her home and sloshed through wet carpet as she surveyed the damage.

"There was nothing you could do. Like you couldn't stop it. My whole, entire house is flooded. Like the entire thing," she said.

Resident David Collupy had just begun to film hail falling in the area, when he captured a tree falling down. He said the freak storm shocked him.

Many cars were also left abandoned as the waters continued to rise in the area. But as the water began to recede, drivers again tried to cross roads hidden under murky water.

There was also the small community of Bootlegger Canyon, which can only be accessed by a dirt road that was quickly washed away during the rains.

Doug Craig's wife was stranded at home, while he had to look for a place to spend the night because he couldn't access the pathway to his residence.

The storm at one point rose 50,000 feet into the atmosphere and dumped three inches of rain in one hour on the Acton area along with some hail, according to ABC7 meteorologist Dallas Raines.

About 200 people were stuck on the Metrolink train, 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. 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.

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

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

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.
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