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

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

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

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

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Vehicles totally submerged in mud

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

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

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Weather has pounded both coasts in less than a month. Damagesfrom heavy rains and flooding in the Carolinas is already estimatedat more than $1 billion.

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

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Southern California Rain
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In this photo provided by Caltrans, vehicles are stopped in mudon California's Interstate-5 after flooding Thursday, Oct. 15,2015. (Caltrans via AP)

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removing cars from mudslide
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In a photo provided by Caltrans, water and mud cover Interstate5 at Fort Tejon, about 75 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, onThursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Flash flooding sent water, mud and rocksrushing across Interstate 5, stranding hundreds of vehicles andclosing the major north-south thoroughfare. (Caltrans via AP)

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Swift water rescue
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This still frame from video provided by KABC-TV shows vehiclesstuck 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 hasfilled several roads with mud, stranding vehicles and blockingtraffic on one of the state’s main highways. (KABC-TV viaAP)

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California flooding
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This still frame from video provided by KABC-TV shows vehiclesstuck 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 hasfilled several roads with mud, stranding vehicles and blockingtraffic on one of the state’s main highways. (KABC-TV via AP)

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