Downpour Wreaks Havoc in Inland Empire Amid Heat Wave

An afternoon downpour on Tuesday soaked the Inland Empire, causing flooding

Driving rain and wind socked the Inland Empire Tuesday afternoon, flooding streets, school buildings, a school track and a general aviation airport and causing havoc for drivers.

It rained up to 30 minutes in neighborhood Canyon Lake, just east of Lake Elsinore.

The rain flooded roadways in minutes.

Some roads were nearly covered in water, making driving conditions extremely dangerous.

At Elsinore High School in Wildomar, about 20 classrooms suffered water damage. Crews were working late into the night Tuesday to remove water, but the school has implemented a contingency plan and reassigned classrooms for Wednesday.

Heavy winds also caused damage. An outhouse was blown apart and exploded onto the track at Elsinore High School.

Wind knocked down power lines and trees.

Karen Fisher was getting gas for her generator because her power was out.

"It was hot, really hot out," Fisher said. "All of a sudden, it came in like crazy. It just started raining ... like little droplets. And it looks like everything is flooding right now."

A large limb knocked out power for several hours in the area. 

"It looked like a tornado," said Crystal Thibeault. "The winds got really, really strong. We had our trash cans that blew all the way across the parking lot. It's zero visibility. It was really crazy."

Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.

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