The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning at 8:05 p.m. on Sunday, warning of a downpour of approximately 1 to 1.5 inches until about 9 p.m., and shortly after that rescue efforts were under way for motorists stranded by flooding north of Santa Clarita.
The areas for the warning included Lake Hughes, Lancaster, local small streams and creeks, and the areas affected by the Route Fire where debris flow is to be expected.
According to first responder radio traffic, there have been reports of vehicles trapped near Pine Canyon Road and Lake Hughes Road, which has reportedly flooded. As of 9:30 p.m. approximately 20 vehicles with 50 occupants were stuck in 2 feet of mud on Pine Canyon Road, and half of the vehicles were reported to be inoperable. Rescue operations via helicopter were underway.
At 10:30 p.m. the Los Angeles County Fire Department confirmed the approximate number of vehicles that were trapped on Pine Canyon Road and confirmed that no injuries were reported, although several vehicles were forced to be abandoned.
The Fire Department said several streets and areas were flooded in the Castaic and Lake Hughes area. The situation on Pine Canyon Road was dubbed the “Pine Incident.”
The NWS advisory included precautions when encountering a flood, which stated the following: “Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. A Flash Flood Warning for a recent burn area means that flooding and debris flows are imminent or occurring. Residents living in or immediately downstream should take immediate precautions to protect life and property. Quickly move away from the burn area only if it is safe to do so, otherwise shelter in place and move to a second story or the highest location in your home to stay out of the path of fast-moving water and debris flows.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.