Metrolink train with logo
Photo by John Schreiber.

Commuters are faced with train delays and cancellations Friday morning in Acton, where Thursday’s storms caused heavy flooding.

“The flash floods, which washed out roads and caused mudslides, also washed out tracks between Metrolink’s Via Princessa and Vincent Grade/Acton stations,” Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson said.

Acton is a small unincorporated town west of Palmdale and just south of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway.

In addition to Metrolink train problems, vehicle traffic towards Los Angeles on that freeway was at a crawl during the morning rush hour.

Antelope Valley Line trains 200 and 202 between Lancaster and Los Union Station have been canceled, Johnson said. The first train to operate was to be Antelope Valley Line train 204, departing Lancaster at 5:19 a.m., he said. Metrolink also will operate Antelope Valley Line train 285, which makes limited stops between Palmdale and Union Station.

“Friday’s schedule is subject to change and is dependent on the railroad tracks being repaired overnight between the Via Princessa and Vincent Grade/Acton stations,” Johnson said. “Due to the track repairs, trains that do operate will likely proceed at reduced speeds, which will lead to delays.”

Passengers are encouraged to check for service updates at www.metrolinktrains.com or follow @MetrolinkAV on Twitter.

Hot tropical weather earlier Thursday spawned thunderstorms that sent flood waters rushing through the Acton area, halting Metrolink service and prompting the evacuation of about 200 train passengers.

National Weather Service forecasters had issued a flash flood watch for the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley as “copious amounts of monsoonal moisture” streamed across Southern California throughout the day Thursday. The flooding in Acton was caused by an intense 30-minute midafternoon downpour that also inundated parts of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway and Sierra Highway.

A hoist rescue of a man from the roof of a pickup truck that became stuck in rushing water occurred about 5:20 p.m. Thursday in the area of Syracuse Avenue and Crown Valley Road, where flood waters swamped several properties. Overall, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported that county firefighters performed three air rescues of stranded motorists.

No injuries were reported.

Flooded and possibly undermined tracks near Aliso Canyon Road also brought the Metrolink train to a halt in the area, and officials later announced service was halted between Via Princessa and Lancaster on the Antelope Valley Line.

About 200 people were evacuated from the stopped train, according to a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher. Metrolink was working to secure alternate transportation for stranded passengers, according to the sheriff’s department.   The county’s Department of Public Works was also working to clear roadways after receiving multiple calls about mud and rock debris. An NWS statement had warned that flash flooding and debris flows would be a threat especially in areas previously denuded in wildfires.

Temperatures around 100 degrees were reported Thursday in some valley and desert locations, but Friday’s highs are expected to be a bit lower as things cool off for the weekend. The NWS said there might be an isolated thunderstorm Friday over the eastern San Gabriel Mountains, but estimated the chance of any further thunderstorms to be less than 15 percent.

The National weather Service forecast partly cloudy skies in Los Angeles County Friday and highs of 78 in Avalon; 80 at LAX; 85 in Long Beach; 86 in Downtown L.A.; 87 on Mount Wilson; 92 in San Gabriel and Burbank; 94 in Pasadena; 96 in Woodland Hills; 97 in Saugus; and 98 in Palmdale and Lancaster. Temperatures will dip by up to 7 degrees in the San Gabriel valley Saturday and a little less in the San Fernando Valley and the San gabriel Mountains at lower elevations, but then resume rising Sunday.

Sunny skies were forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 72 in Laguna Beach; 74 in San Clemente; 78 in Newport Beach; 86 in Mission Viejo; 87 in Fullerton and Irvine; 88 in Anaheim; and 91 in Yorba Linda.

— City News Service

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