Storm Pummels Inland Empire

A storm hit parts of Southern California, prompting water rescues at flooded intersections and closing at least one school

Just after 7 a.m. Monday, the Palm Springs area got pounded with a series of severe downpours.

In minutes, the relentless rains turned roads into rivers, leaving a dozen intersections flooded and drivers stranded in dangerously high water.

Some tried to push their vehicles to higher ground. Others just abandoned them and looked for safety.

There were at least 40 water related rescues in Coachella Valley Monday. At least one school was evacuated.

"Within 30 seconds the water was at least 2-feet high," Maritza Carranza, a La Quinta resident, said.

Just north of Victorville, blinding sheets of rain created a traffic mess on Interstate 15, Causing a pile-up involving a bus and two other vehicles.

"They lost control and hit my van and then that young lady, when I was parked here, she hit the side of me," Mark, the bus driver, said.

No one was seriously hurt in the crash, but it created a traffic headache for drivers heading north to Barstow.

The storm system unleashed its torrents of rain as randomly as a lottery machine picks winning numbers.

San Bernardino got hit with a jackpot just before noon.

So did downtown Riverside, where a heavy downpour quickly flooded some intersections.

Still, some were glad to see drought-stricken Southern California get much-needed water.

"But not all at one time," Al Rizzo, of Riverside, said. "That's the problem because a lot of it runs off."

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