LAFD Fishes Honda Civic Hatch Out of Flooded LA River

If you're in LA and your Civic isn't where you left it, we might have found it for you.
TikTok, tacosandlaw, chicanolifestyletv

Update: 08/22/23 9:19 p.m. ET: The article has been updated to clarify that two separate vehicles were found in the LA River during Hurricane Hilary.

Los Angeles has currently been tangling with torrential rainfall thanks to Hurricane Hilary. The city’s drainage system has been working overtime, with authorities recently having to fish a beleaguered hatchback out of the surging waters in northeast Los Angeles.

In a video posted to TikTok by tacosandlaw, we see members of the Los Angeles Fire Department fishing out a white EG Honda Civic from the Los Angeles River. The car had become lodged in the river bed in Montecito Heights, just off Interstate 110 N, where Exit 27 leads onto East Avenue 43.

The incident saw a firefighter lowered down on a winch to attach cables to the car, such that it could be lifted back onto dry land. The recovered car is a sad sight, covered in detritus and looking very much the worse for wear.

It wasn’t the only car to end up in the LA River during the downpour. A similar car was also spotted in a flooding section of the Compton Creek, a Western offshoot from the Los Angeles River, as seen in a video posted by chicanolifestyletv.

The question remains as to how either car ended up in the river in the first place. Access to the LA River is forbidden without a permit, with the city by and large strictly controlling access. It’s possible the cars had been dumped at some point previously, only to be washed up by the surging floodwaters.


Cars seen in a flooded canal 🌊 Compton 📍Cali #Fyp

♬ original sound – ChicanoLifeStyleTV

The best advice during any such natural disaster is not to drive through floodwaters. Cars can float in as little as six inches of water, and rushing floodwaters can easily carry a vehicle away. Nor should one enter the floodwater on foot or otherwise swim or play in it. Floodwaters can carry all kinds of disease or pollutants, and conceal unseen underwater hazards.

While Los Angeles may rarely be as wet as it was this past week, it’s nonetheless a healthy reminder for residents of the city. Cars aren’t allowed in the LA River without a permit for good reason.

Got a tip? Was this your car? Let the author know: