Firefighters rescue 6 people from flooded cars Sunday


Firefighters responding to a downed power line Sunday rescued a total of six people from their cars Sunday evening about 6:30 p.m as flash flooding turned Topanga Canyon Boulevard turned into a river.

Fire Captain Randall Atanay said that beginning just north of Highvale Trail on Topanga, firefighters on Fire Engine 69 rescued four people whose cars were stuck in 1 to 2 feet of rushing water. As they moved uphill the water grew deeper, and they rescued a fifth victim by pulling her from the window of her car.

After moving approximately 150 yards uphill, the engine rescued a sixth victim who had been picked up by a firefighter in a patrol truck. After climbing out the windows onto the roof of the patrol truck, the firefighter and the woman were able to climb onto the fire engine, as the water reached 4 feet in depth.

Atanay said at its deepest, the water was rushing onto the windshield of the fire engine as it moved upstream, before the road took a turn and the water subsided.

Atanay said that water from Topanga Creek had apparently broken its banks, turning Topanga Canyon into a river. Firefighters also witnessed a truck floating downstream.

—Knowles Adkisson