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I-5 In Southern California To Reopen This Afternoon

Caltrans / AP

In a photo provided by Caltrans, water and mud cover Interstate 5 at Fort Tejon, about 75 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015.

Caltrans / AP

(AP) - California police say they expect a mud-covered interstate to reopen to traffic Friday afternoon.

Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles was closed Thursday after flash flood debris blocked the roadway, stranded hundreds of vehicles and forced some motorists to take refuge on top of their cars.

Excavator trucks scooped and hauled away mud in the darkness Thursday night with the cleanup continuing into Friday morning. The closure has left thousands of drivers searching for alternative routes.

California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi says officials now expect the important highway to reopen around 2 p.m.

There were no reports of deaths or injuries from the flooding Thursday at Fort Tejon, about 75 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. The slide was caused by a storm system that produced heavy rainfall across the region.