Thunderstorms cause flooding, major power outages across valley

Video: Thunderstorms cause flooding, maj

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - Thunderstorms early Thursday morning caused major power outages and road closures due to flooding in the Coachella Valley and the High Desert.

A thunderstorm produced heavy rain prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning for southeastern Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage, as well as parts
of state Route 74.

In the Coachella Valley, lightning strikes led to outages in Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs, though power was mostly restored by Thursday morning. Some roadways in Palm Springs were also flooded, including South Araby Drive between Anza Trail and Stagecoach Road, which was closed for about four hours before reopening just after 7:30 a.m.

Just before 3 a.m., the NWS reported that about an inch of rain had fallen within an hour, causing a threat of flooding in Borrego Palm Canyon, prompting the flash flood warning. The NWS also issued a flash flood advisory just after 3 a.m. for Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris, western Beaumont, Woodcrest and March Air Force Base. According to the NWS, heavy rain could cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highway, streets, and underpasses, as well as other drainage areas and low lying spots.

Both warnings were originally set to expire early Thursday morning, but were extended until 10 p.m.

Thursday is expected to be the last day of rain and thunderstorms in the region following days of road closures from the wet summer storms. The humid conditions caused by recent monsoonal moisture will continue throughout the day, but drier air will move in from the southwest by Friday, bringing humidity levels down and making thunderstorms much less likely Friday and heading into the weekend.

On Wednesday, heavy rain caused water and mud to submerge the junction of state Routes 79 and 371, prompting the California Highway Patrol to close both highways at the location. The storm cell dumped a large amount of rain about 1 p.m., leaving the junction flooded.

Some vehicles became stuck in the flood zone, but no one was injured.

Original Report: 

On Tuesday, heavy downpours triggered flooding, mud and debris flows throughout Lake Elsinore, Meadowbrook, Perris, Temecula and surrounding locations. A number of intersections were closed, but those closures were lifted Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

In Palm Springs, South Araby Drive between Anza Trail and Stagecoach at the wash area is back open. It was closed due to flooding.

Lanes on Indian Canyon and Gene Autry through the wash in Palm Springs are closed but the road remains open for drivers to pass through, according to city workers. One lane on westbound Vista Chino is also closed due to flooding, but that road remains open.

Stay with News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 for the latest on power outages and road closures.

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