Drought-stricken California turned into an enormous mud bath when heavy rains soaked the area on Thursday afternoon. Flooding closed major traffic arteries around LA. Interstate 5 along the Tehachapi Mountains about 40 miles north of Los Angeles was closed as more than five feet of mud trapped motorists.

Employees with the California Transportation Commission worked throughout the night removing mud and debris from the interstate, but the job is being hampered by the dozens of abandoned cars left by drivers who scrambled to safety, their cars literally buried in mud. The California Highway patrol anticipates that the busy roadway will reopen this afternoon Pacific Time.

The slow-moving storm traveled up the coast from the Southwest and is expected to drop another inch of rain over the next few days according to the National Weather Service.

The Weather Channel reports that a mesonet station outside of Lancaster, Calif., reported 2.99 inches of rain in a half hour. The rains produced flooding and mudslides, as well as hail stones the size of quarters. “More thunderstorms are expected later Friday, potentially across already hit areas of southern California and points east,” reported the Weather Channel.

Vehicles totally submerged in mud

Drivers posted photos of cars totally submerged in mud on social media. The Los Angeles County Fire Department rescued at least 14 people and several dogs from flood waters.

State Route 58 near Mojave, Calif. was closed as more than 5 feet of mud covered the roadway, and the California State Department of Transportation expects what it terms a “long term closure” of the road.

Weather has pounded both coasts in less than a month. Damages from heavy rains and flooding in the Carolinas is already estimated at more than $1 billion. 

Here is a look at more of the flooding and mudslides from the storm.

Southern California Rain

In this photo provided by Caltrans, vehicles are stopped in mud on California’s Interstate-5 after flooding Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. (Caltrans via AP)

removing cars from mudslide

In a photo provided by Caltrans, water and mud cover Interstate 5 at Fort Tejon, about 75 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Flash flooding sent water, mud and rocks rushing across Interstate 5, stranding hundreds of vehicles and closing the major north-south thoroughfare. (Caltrans via AP)

Swift water rescue

This still frame from video provided by KABC-TV shows vehicles stuck in a muddy road in the mountainous community of Lake Hughes, Calif., about 65 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Flash flooding in northern Los Angeles County has filled several roads with mud, stranding vehicles and blocking traffic on one of the state’s main highways. (KABC-TV via AP) 

California flooding

This still frame from video provided by KABC-TV shows vehicles stuck in a muddy road in the mountainous community of Lake Hughes, Calif., about 65 miles north of downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Flash flooding in northern Los Angeles County has filled several roads with mud, stranding vehicles and blocking traffic on one of the state’s main highways. (KABC-TV via AP)