Mud Cleanup Efforts Underway Following Flash Floods - NBC Chicago
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Mud Cleanup Efforts Underway Following Flash Floods

Some road closures in Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth areas still in effect



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    Crews work to clean up mud and debris from roadways in northern Los Angeles County Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 after recent flash floods.

    A major cleanup is underway in the Antelope Valley in Southern California after recent flash floods caused a heavy mudflow that inundated cars and homes, and prompted road closures in many areas.

    Crews are contending with mud up to four feet deep in some areas, and are working on clearing 29 miles of county roads, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

    California Highway Patrol said it could be several days before all roads were reopened.

    The devastation is a result of Thursday's storm, which flooded the Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth areas. County fire crews helped some motorists escape their swamped vehicles and get to safety. Flood and mud also damaged homes in Palmdale and Lancaster.

    Rainfall records for Oct. 15 were set Thursday in Palmdale, Sandberg and Fox Field in Lancaster, according to the National Weather Service.

    Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said he will ask his colleagues on Tuesday to declare a state of emergency for QuartzHill, Leona Valley, Lake Hughes, Lake Elizabeth and surrounding areas.

    Most roads were reopened Friday, including the 5 Freeway at the Grapevine, where crews cleared mud, rocks and other debris from the roadway.

    Route 58, the Mojave-Barstow Highway, remains closed, after nearly 200 cars were trapped under mud and debris. Officials have not yet given word on when it will reopen.

    There are still hard road closures, meaning only emergency and utility vehicles are able to pass, on Elizabeth Lake Road between City Ranch Road and Godde Hill, and between Lookabout and Lake Hughes roads, as well as Munz Ranch Road between Lancaster and Elizabeth Lake roads, Deputy Jodi Wolfe of the sheriff's Palmdale station said.

    Residents with identification may use Godde Hill from Avenue N to Elizabeth Lake Road. Once on Elizabeth Lake Road, the CHP will escort vehicles, Wolfe said.

    LA County Fire checked door-to-door and found no casualties or injuries in the area.

    Vehicles owners were being asked Saturday to retrieve their abandoned cars from the area or risk being towed by LASD and CHP.

    For further information on vehicle storage, contact the Palmdale Sheriff Station 661-272-2400 or CHP Station 323-259-2010.