san fernando valley

Flooding Shuts 5 Freeway Lanes

El Niño-fueled downpours flooded a stretch of the Golden State (5) Freeway in the northeast San Fernando Valley

Flooding shut down lanes of the Golden State (5) Freeway in Sun Valley on Wednesday as an El Niño-fueled storm pummeled Southern California for the third time in as many days.

The flooding was reported before noon Wednesday in the southbound lanes from Sheldon Avenue to Lankershim Boulevard.

All lanes were closed, except for the carpool lane. Cars could be seen driving through the water in the fast lane of one side, a driver seen holding his cellphone possibly recording his or her drive.

A worker, meanwhile, in a flourescent jacket could be seen wading in hip-deep water trying to unclog a storm drain.

Workers later said that the drains weren't necessarily clogged -- they just couldn't keep up with the downpour.

A long line of cars were backed up for miles.

All lanes were reopened after 4 p.m.

Officials said if a resident is ever in the situation where he or she must drive through a flooded road or freeway lane, the best course of action is to try and seek higher ground. 

"Try not to get out of the car and into the moving water," LAFD Captain John Ruedy said.

Officials also said never try to cross fast-flowing water above 4 to 6 inches. If a driver is stuck in a pond of flood water, experts say to call 911 and wait for a rescue.

Pools of water in the road also may seem OK to cross, but experts say to be aware that you could skid out of control.

Experts also warned that if a car stalls out in a flooded roadway, that restarting the car may cause irreparable damage.

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