Calif. mudslide survivors: "We were really lucky"

MOJAVE, Calif. --David Quintana saw his truck for the first time in 5 days on Monday.

"I think it's going to be totaled. I think it's going to have a lot of electrical problems," said Quintana.

He was one of hundreds of people stuck on Highway 58 when torrential rains hit Southern California last Thursday.

"I looked and coming off the mountain there was just a river of water coming down," Quintana remembered. "I was really concerned that we were going to get washed away."

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A driver scrapes dried mud off of his car CBS News

More than 150 cars and trucks were towed, some to the Mojave airport where drivers scraped off mud, trying to salvage what was inside.

Back on Highway 58, transportation crews were scraping mud off the road.

California trucking closed due to mudslide

Debbie Cochrane and her daughter Jessica McDonel caught the mudslide on video from inside their truck.

"Luckily we weren't farther up where the cars were buried more," said Cochrane.

The pair waited nearly 12 hours inside their vehicle to be rescued.

Vehicles are stuck on a road after being trapped by a mudslide on California Highway 58 in Mojave, California, Oct. 16, 2015, after torrential rains swamped the area and forced drivers and passengers to flee on foot.
Vehicles are stuck on a road after being trapped by a mudslide on California Highway 58 in Mojave, California, Oct. 16, 2015, after torrential rains swamped the area and forced drivers and passengers to flee on foot. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

"The cars in front of us were floating around banging into each other," McDonel said. "It was really scary and we were really lucky that we didn't get as much of the damage as the other cars."

Transportation crews are still working to clean up nearly 1 million cubic yards of mud left behind, enough to fill 305 Olympic-size pools.

  • Mireya Villarreal

    Mireya Villarreal is a CBS News correspondent.