“My girlfriend was screaming at the top of her lungs: ‘Go, go, go! We’ve got to get out of here!'” Franklin said.
Hours later, however, Franklin was told the neighborhood might be in danger and was being evacuated. He and his friend packed their cars and shoveled away several feet of mud that was caked in front of the driveway.
He said his friend packed his daughter and three cats in a car and left. Franklin and his girlfriend left in a gray Prius.
“‘Oh, this might be how it ends,'” he said he thought.
Franklin, who is from Dallas, said he heard rumbling around 6 a.m. Tuesday and saw something he’d never seen before: “river rapids in the middle of a residential street.”
“I just got pushed down the side of a hill by a wall of water and mud,” Desionne Franklin said Thursday in an Instagram video two days after the terrifying ride. “Rocks flowing, mud flowing everywhere. Barely made it out.”
Franklin, 44, and his girlfriend evacuated a friend’s home in the city of Burbank where they were staying as waves of storm runoff began pouring down a steep foothill street near hiking trails and a golf course. Water, rocks and mud cascaded down from mountains stripped bare of soil-stabilizing brush by a recent wildfire.
On the way, Franklin saw other, mangled cars that had been swept away.