Inland Empire

Storm Damages Inland Empire Neighborhoods, Causes Trees to Topple Over Homes

Storms have slammed neighborhoods in the Inland Empire, toppling trees onto houses and leaving behind damage in several neighborhoods.

A flash flood warning was issued Wednesday for Riverside County, including Temecula, Hemet, Murrieta and other communities.

The sudden summer storm produced rain and lightning throughout Southern California. Winds damaged fences in residential areas and parked cars floated downhill in river-like roads.

"It pushed the car back about four to five feet," Corona resident Thomas Green said. "I had my son run out here and push the e-brake."

Heavy flooding was reported in the area of Indian Truck Trail and Temescal Canyon Road, just south of Corona. County officials were assessing whether a closure was necessary.

This is just the beginning of an active weather week.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch Wednesday for much of Riverside County as rain and thunderstorms are expected to continue throughout the county through this evening. The flood watch went into effect about 2:30 this morning in Riverside County's valleys, mountains and deserts. More than an inch of rain in an hour will be possible in some areas, which would constitute a heavy downpour.

A flash flood watch means conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. The cities and communities under the flood watch are Riverside, Moreno Valley, Corona, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, Indio, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, Palm Desert Country, La Quinta, Coachella, Banning and Desert Hot Springs.

Today's rain and stormy weather -- courtesy of a monsoonal flow out of northern Mexico and Arizona -- will continue a streak of humid, sticky summer weather that saw heavy rainfall Tuesday trigger roadway flooding, mud slides and debris flows, prompting temporary road closures in several locations.

Downpours in Lake Elsinore, Perris and Temecula between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. led to disruptions on unincorporated streets and on freeways. Near the site of Monday's wildfire on the west end of Lake Elsinore, rapidly flowing water at Grand Avenue and Plumas Street forced the California Highway Patrol to temporarily close off the intersection.

At the northbound Interstate 215 connector bridge to the westbound Riverside (91) Freeway, several lanes flooded, creating rush-hour traffic hazards, the CHP reported.

In the area of Sharp Road and Spring Street, just west of Perris, debris flows created hazardous driving conditions, and a hard closure was put into effect on Sharp, between Spring and Theda streets, according to reports from the scene.

Riverside County Department of Transportation officials also closed Theda Street, between Olive Avenue and Sharp Road, due to flooding.

A mudslide was reported along Rainbow Canyon Road, near southbound Interstate 15 in Temecula, according to the CHP. No freeway lanes were closed, however.

On northbound I-15 at Lake Street in Lake Elsinore, water pooled in all except the fast lane just before 4 p.m., according to the CHP. Motorists were snaking through using the center divider.

Satellite images showed the heaviest concentrations of rain in the southwest of the county as thunderstorm cells reached maturity. Less intense rainfall reached Corona, Moreno Valley and Riverside, amid hot and humid conditions.

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