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‘Cars are replaceable’: Burbank woman takes loss of vehicle in stride after storm

After looking for any salvageable items, including new prescription glasses, in the vehicle filled w
Wendy Peters, right, and her mother, Barbara Peters, take a break Jan. 11, 2018, after looking through a mud-filled car for salvageable items.
(Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

Last Tuesday’s torrential storm brought more than 2 inches of rain to Burbank, triggering mudslides that battered several cars along Country Club Drive and toppled an RV.

One of those battered cars belonged to Wendy Peters.

Before the storm, city officials warned residents in the hillside community to not park their cars on the street, lest they become carried away in a potential flash flood or mudslide. Peters had parked her black Scion on an easement several feet away from the road and thought it was safe.

When she checked to see how her car fared during the storm, it was nowhere to be found.


“It was quite shocking … the car was just gone,” she said.

Peters’ vehicle had been carried by a mud flow to the bottom of the street. Her car, along with another vehicle that was overturned, were featured in a video posted to Twitter by the Burbank Police Department warning of the dangerous conditions brought by the rain.

When she saw what happened to the Scion, Peters found that all four wheels had been bent outward, several windows had shattered, both ends were smashed and the interior was filled with mud.


“It’s famous now. It’s a mascot for this disaster,” Peters said.

She took the damage in stride and called it a humbling reminder of nature’s power.

“It’s sad, but it’s a material thing,” she said. “Cars are replaceable. … It’s not the end of the world, [my family] is alive and fine.”

Peters said she had owned the car for a little over three years. It was the first one that she bought for herself and even called it her “Little Toaster.”

While the Scion was deemed a total loss, Peters was able to recover several items from the car including a pair of prescription glasses.

Peters also recovered another item from her car she said she’ll keep as a memento of the storm: a mud-caked license plate reading “A ★FROGY.”


Twitter: @Andy_Truc