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Cleanup continues after powerful storm leaves mess across Valley

Another wave of storms could hit late Monday afternoon

Storm Cleanup

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - Trees and power poles littered Coachella valley roadways Monday after a strong storm blew into the area Sunday night.

Road crews and emergency crews spent most of the day removing huge trees, limbs, plants and other items that were blown all across the Coachella Valley.

The storm began at approximately 8:30 p.m. Sunday night in the East Valley and moved like a wave of wind all across the Desert, bringing with it strong winds, dust, sand and then the rain.  

The storm blew over trees, power poles and caused roadways to be shut down and several power outages across the Coachella Valley. SCE says most of the power has been restored.

In Cathedral City, the California Highway Patrol shut down Interstate 10 between Palm Drive and Date Palm Drive after several power poles caught on fire near the freeway. The fires were believed to have been ignited by a lightning strike causing power lines to be draped across the freeway.  Southern California Edison crews cleared the lines just after midnight, but not before traffic backed up for miles. 

In Palm Desert, crews spent much of Monday cleaning up trees in the streets.  One tree fell on a home in a Palm Desert neighborhood, crushing the roof.  "I woke up, the tree in the front was knocked down, the fence in the backyard totally destroyed," said Billy Ortt, a neighbor in the area.  "It messed up our plumbing so I had to cap it off. It just looked like a disaster happened over here."

Ortt was surprised at the sheer strength of the wind, "It's kind of shocking because that tree's so big and a lot of force was needed to take down that tree."

In another nearby Palm Desert neighborhood, the wind wreaked havoc on Mary Deets' home. "It's just terrible, it just ripped off the awning and all this noise and everything. I looked out and said get back in!"

Also, with the storm came a strong foul sulfur like smell, many claim it smells like rotten eggs.  Riverside and Los Angeles officials also claim they have received thousands of 9-1-1 calls about the stench, and are asking people not to call. 

Ortt and other residents hope the aftermath of the storm is not one they have to deal with again.  "Hopefully this doesn't happen anymore, because it stinks to know the wind'll get this strong, and will tear down our houses and mess with our pockets," said Ortt. "It's not going to help us."

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