Toyota Prius driver describes terrifying trek down flooded California street

Prius' wild ride

BURBANK, Calif. -- The torrential rains that have pummeled Southern California this week have left trail of death and destruction few in the area have seen. One man whose terrifying trek down a Burbank hill made headlines is counting his blessings, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The image of Desionne Franklin's Prius being pushed by a flood of water down a street was a frightening thing to watch, let alone experience.

"It was one of those moments where I never felt before, where your whole life flash in front of you, like, this might be it," Franklin told CBS Los Angeles Thursday.

Early Tuesday morning, he watched debris flow down the street. Moments later, he knew he and his girlfriend had to evacuate the home where they had been staying.

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The couple jumped into their car and headed downhill. About halfway there, they felt a sudden burst of water behind them.

Franklin said they did not know whether they would survive being pushed down the hill as if surfing atop the water.

"We were hydroplaning all the way down," Franklin said.

Franklin was able to maintain control of the sedan, maneuvering the car to safety as it went out of frame of the local firefighter union's recording device that captured the moment.

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As he surveyed the aftermath, he showed how the water had, at one point, reached midway up the car.

Despite the ordeal, Franklin, a father of three, said his car is fine.

Given how many others fared in the rains, Franklin said it could have been a lot worse.

"I do feel like I'm fortunate to have made it out," Franklin said, "but, in comparison to what's happening up north, man, I have no words for that."

No injuries were reported in Burbank as a result of the rains.