At about 4 p.m., about 45 firefighters helped clear mud and water from a handful of homes in the 9900 block of Whitewater Road in Moreno Valley.
Orlando Sanchez's retaining wall failed to hold back rising storm water, sending mud toward his home.
"I called 911 and let them know the situation. I said, 'We're leaving, getting the kids in the car, you guys might want to come down and take a look at this because it's piling up pretty quick,'" Sanchez said.
Cal Fire says the downpour clogged the large storm drains with debris and pushed sandbags meant to divert water into the smaller drains. The water quickly pooled on Pigeon Pass Road then spilled over into the backyards on Whitewater Road.
"We had five houses had about a foot of water in their backyards standing when we arrived at (the) scene, and three of those homes actually had water going inside the homes themselves," Cal Fire Capt. Lucas Spelman said.
PHOTOS: Lightning, heavy rain strikes SoCal
Neighbor Julie Carter lives across the street from the homes that took on some muddy water.
"The water was sheeting, running down my window. I was nervously pacing in the house, because it just had been something I had never seen up here before," Carter said.
Heavy rain and high winds moved through Menifee. In Corona, the fire department rescued four homeless people from a storm channel near the 91 Freeway. The strong storm cell soaked Perris, snapping power poles and dragging down power lines.
Flooding also shut down the 10 Freeway from Desert Center to the Arizona state line.
In Orange County, the Anaheim Angels game was rained out.
The last #Angels home rainout was on June 16, 1995 against the Chicago White Sox.— Angels (@Angels) July 20, 2015
National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sirard says Saturday's rainfall broke at least 11 regional records for daily rainfall in July, including five records for any day in July.
July is typically the driest month of the year in Southern California. Saturday's 0.36 inches of rainfall downtown broke the July 14, 1886, record of 0.24 inches - a nearly 130-year record, Sirard said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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