January 21, 2018

California Mudslides Turn a Toyota Prius Into an Urban Log Flume Ride

13 January 2018, 04:33 | Glen Norman

California Mudslides Turn a Toyota Prius Into an Urban Log Flume Ride

A car is whisked away by mudslide in California

Footage has emerged of Desionne Franklin's auto being swept down and around a curve in the street, pushed by a rapidly-moving tide of muddy brown water.

Warnings were issued days in advance that mudslides were possible because recent wildfires had stripped hillsides of vegetation that normally holds soil in place.

Hours later, he got word of the danger and evacuations.

Desionne Franklin told the station he and his girlfriend made a decision to evacuate after watching conditions worsen throughout the morning and receiving the order from authorities.

Video shows the rescue of a California teenager stuck in a mudslide
WATCH: Prius takes wild ride on mudslide in California

Franklin and his friend packed their cars and shoveled several feet of mud from the front of the driveway.

Franklin said they did not know whether they would survive being pushed down the hill as if surfing atop the water.

As Franklin drove down the street, the wheels skidded and the current pushed at the vehicle. About halfway there, they felt a sudden burst of water behind them.

As his girlfriend screamed "at the top of her lungs", he did his best to steer the Prius around obstacles as the torrent pushed them downhill, somehow making it to the bottom and maneuvering out of the flow.

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"We were hydroplaning all the way down", Franklin said.

"There was barely any traction", he said.

Franklin was able to maintain control of the sedan, maneuvering the vehicle to safety as it went out of frame of the local firefighter union's recording device that captured the moment.

That includes the Prius-Franklin told KTLA that other than a few dings and scratches, the vehicle seems to be running just fine.

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"They looked like wadded-up pieces of paper", he said.

Remarkably, nobody was hurt in the incident, and the Prius - which Mr Franklin recently had leased to make extra money through ride-sharing - came away with only a few scratches.

Given how many others fared in the rains, Franklin said it could have been a lot worse.

"I love the auto now", Franklin said.

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"It got us through hell and high water, literally".

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