TEHACHAPI, Calif. (FOX 11 / AP) - Hundreds of cars and trucks were still stuck in mud Friday from flash floods on State Route 58 in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles.
It's one of several scenes of massive mud flows unleashed by powerful thunderstorms in Southern California's mountains and deserts Thursday afternoon.
From Hal Eisner:
In my 33 years of broadcasting in Southern California, I've seen lots of things happen on our roads and freeways but he mudslide that covered Highway 58 in Kern County last night may well top the list!
There were 18-wheelers buried up to their hoods. Cars and pickup trucks filled with water and mud. There are vehicles there that will never be able to be used again. 192 vehicles all messed up. Some crashed into each other. Miraculously, no one was hurt.
It happened fast as a downpour just before 6pm Thursday night soaked the hillsides. Officials at a news conference in Lancaster Friday said we should all remember the power of Mother Nature can be extraordinary. A little water can move a big car. In this case, a little moved a big number of cars and trucks.
CHP officials say it could take days to clean off the road and remove the vehicles. Given that, it could take longer to get the road reopened. So, for now, Highway 58 between Mojave and Tahachapie is closed indefinitely.
California Highway Patrol Lt. Sven Miller says 115 cars and 75 trucks are stuck on the highway between the towns of Mojave and Tehachapi.
Hundreds more trucks are backing up Friday morning.
Nearby Interstate 5 reopened on the northbound side at about 1 p.m. Friday in the Grapevine area, California Highway Patrol officials announced.
The southbound lanes were expected to remain closed until about 5 p.m. as highway crews plow away mud and debris that blocked the major north-south artery between Los Angeles and the Central Valley.
More thunderstorms are possible Friday afternoon and evening.