"I just got pushed down the side of hill by a wall of water and mud", Franklin said in a later Instagram video".
The storm slammed the region late Monday and Tuesday with downpours that triggered flash floods and mud flows on Country Club Drive in the hills above Burbank. A fire there past year has left the steep hills and canyons bare of brush that would help stabilize the soil.
Franklin says he woke up at 6am and heard noises outside, he wasn't sure what was happening- but he knew they had to leave. "I guess this is going to be it for me, right here", he thought.
Franklin drove slowly down the steep, curving rode through waves of rock-laden, muddy water. In this risky scenario, a man escaped a massive mudslide by racing his auto down a hill and counts himself as extremely lucky that he could manage to escape it unhurt, unharmed and alive. "We've got to get out of here!"
The video was shot in Burbank and shows the sedan nearly floating in the water. The vehicle speeds downhill and is only stopped from flying out of control by the curved roadway.More news: Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson avoid arbitration with record-setting $23 million contract
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Remarkably, nobody was hurt in the incident, and the Prius - which Mr Franklin recently had leased to make extra money through ride-sharing - came away with only a few scratches.
As the rainwater made its way downhill with gathering force, it pried boulders from the ground and picked up trees and other debris that flattened homes, cars and carried at least one body more than 2 kilometres away. Franklin said he and his girlfriend looked at each other and "just sat there, speechless".
"It got us through hell and high water, literally".
Despite the conditions, Franklin said the Prius was able to remain in control at the end of the slide."I didn't even know a Prius could hold up in nothing like that".