A shocking video shot by California firefighters captured the full wrath of the California mudslides, showing a car being swept away by the raging flows of mud and debris that have plagued the state this week.
A member of the Burbank Firefighters Local 778 filmed the footage of the car careening down a street and posted the footage on the group’s Instagram page.
“Urban Prius bobsledding in Burbank!” the video caption stated.
The driver of the car, Desionne Franklin, told FOX5, he and his girlfriend were at home Tuesday morning when they realized they needed to evacuate.
“I could hear a rumbling and the rain was coming down hard and I said ‘we gotta go now,’” Franklin said.
The couple hopped in the car and started driving — but soon realized the mud had overtaken the vehicle and was sweeping them down the road. Franklin explained the scary experience.
“The steering wheel was shaking and we could feel boulders and rocks underneath us,” Franklin said. “The brakes didn’t work. My girlfriend was screaming ‘go go go.’”
The driver said the firefighters failed to capture the panic he and his girlfriend felt at the time.
“What you can’t see in that video is the panic inside,” Franklin said. “We know we are lucky this turned out to be a positive story.”
The mudslides that have ravaged Southern California this week have killed at least 17 people and at least 43 others have been reported missing. Rescue officials said many of the missing may simply have been unreachable by family and friends who reported they could not find them. Many of the mudslide deaths occurred in Montecito, an area that’s home to celebrities such as Rob Lowe, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey.
Crews on Friday continued to dig through the muck and rubble to look for more people.
The mudslides, which were ignited by heavy rain, took many homeowners by surprise early Tuesday, despite warnings issued days in advance the slides were possible due to the recent wildfires that stripped hillsides of vegetation that normally holds soil in place.
Officials estimated the mudslides destroyed some 64 homes and damaged 446 others.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.