Monsoonal system brings wild weather to the Southland

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Lightning, thunder as well as heavy rain and quarter-size hail caused dangerous flash flooding across the Southland Thursday.

From heavy hail forcing drivers to take cover to muddy runoff blocking roads, Thursday's summer storm packed a punch across the Southland.

The monsoonal system brought some scattered light rain in the morning, wetting roads for the rush-hour commute. Thick clouds were seen hanging over the San Bernardino Mountains, bringing spurts of downpours and flashes of lightning at times.

During the afternoon, the summer storm drenched Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Heavy rain and quarter-size hail caused flash flooding on Highway 79 into Beaumont.

Flooding was also reported on Highway 62 in Twentynine Palms, forcing the brief closure of the south entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.

Multiple eucalyptus trees fell inside Fisherman's Retreat in the 32300 block of San Timoteo Canyon Road in Calimesa at about 5:40 p.m. as a large storm cell passed through the area, Cal Fire officials said. The trees landed on top of four RV trailers, injuring two people and shutting off power to most of the park.

Lightning also sparked a fire at Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Running Springs at about 6 p.m., according to San Bernardino National Forest officials.

Rain and hail reduced visibility in the Grapevine, making driving conditions dangerous. The California Highway Patrol also reported flooding on the 14 Freeway in the Acton area.

The same weather system was responsible for sudden downpours Wednesday in the High Desert communities. Thunderstorms produced heavy rain, which caused flashed flooding along Highway 15 near Baker.

In Lucerne, a quick-moving storm turned roadways into rivers while mud and rocks covered a portion of Highway 18, forcing Caltrans to temporarily shut down the roads.

Just south of the High Desert in San Jacinto, a downpour triggered significant street flooding and strong winds caused property damage to some homes.

Caltrans advised drivers to stay put or turn around to avoid the area if they see any kind of flooding on the roads.

PHOTOS: Rain, lightning rolls through Southland
Related Topics:
weatherstormrainlightninghailSan Bernardino CountyRiverside CountyCalimesaLos Angeles CountySouthern California
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