Sunday, August 6, 2017

California Flash Flooding Prompts Water Rescues, Strands 200 Train Passengers

Eric Chaney
Published: August 4,2017

Flash flooding prompted at least one water rescue in Southern California yesterday and left hundreds of passengers stranded on a train.
Storms developed in the region yesterday due to a southeasterly monsoonal flow, said meteorologist Linda Lam. The combination of slow moving thunderstorms and a very moist air mass brought heavy rainfall to some locations. According to Lam, 1.46 inches of rain fell in Acton in just 35 minutes.
A man trapped when the swiftly rising waters surrounded his pickup truck was plucked from the roof by helicopter, the Associated Press reported.
Helicopter views showed streams of muddy brown water gushing around ranches, homes and cars, and although no evacuations were ordered, officials were warning commuters to avoid attempting to drive through the moving waters.
“All the roadways look like a lake,” Sheriff’s Lt. Anthony Gunn told the Los Angeles Times. “If possible, [do] not drive anywhere at this point.”
About 200 people were stuck on a Metrolink train stopped after floodwaters eroded part of the tracks both in front and behind the train, ABC 7 reports.
(MORE: Police Find German Hiker, Missing Since 1987, in Swiss Glacier)
The train sat on the tracks for more than an hour while officials evaluated their options: Evacuate the train or risk sending it back to departing station with the passengers on board.

This video image courtesy of Andy Villalobos shows flooding in Acton, Calif. Moist, monsoonal air is causing storms and forecasters say they could dump up to an inch of rain per hour.
(Andy Villalobos via AP)
 “They were getting pretty anxious,” Gunn told the Times about the commuters. “They were concerned about being on the train due to what they were seeing through the windows.” LA County Fire Department personnel helped several passengers with medical issues during the waiting period, while sheriff's deputies had to deal with several unruly passengers, the ABC 7 reports.
Eventually, Metrolink officials decided to send the train back to the departing station with the passengers, but Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson told ABC 7 that the tracks issue would continue to affect Friday morning commutes.
Commuters are advised to check Metrolink's Twitter feed for the latest information.
MORE: California Wildfires - July 2017

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