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High Winds, Thunderstorms Roll Through Region

Penny-sized hail dropped on mountains Thursday near the Coachella Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

Earlier in the day, winds in the Southland were strong with heavy wind gusts.

A power outage in Palm Springs also caused a scare, considering the triple-digit temperatures.

Traffic along Interstate 10, through the valley, ran smoothly. There were no reports of major delays due to weather.

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From Palm Springs to Indio, the wind wreaked havoc on trees and whipped dirt around, which caused moist and dusty conditions.

The view of the San Jacinto Mountains from the desert floor was ominous, as lightning and heavy rain clouds blanketed the sky.

“It’s scary,” said Cristina Gutierrez, a frightened car passenger. “We’re afraid that something might happen.”

Drivers were extra cautious. But, most were prepared.

“It’s not really anything unusual,” said Amanda Goodchild, a longtime desert resident. “[It’s] a little bit out of the norm thing time of the year, but not unusual.”

Palm trees in Palm Desert were bent like Beckham.

Tree branches and limbs were scattered across the streets of Indio, and moisture fogged the sky.

As the east valley coped with small drops of water, more than 1,700 Palm Springs Southern California Edison customers were left without power.

“I was just watching ‘Dr. Oz.,’ and it went out,” said Calrice Lubel, who was left without power for an hour and a half.

The power shut off just after 3:45 p.m., according to SCE.

“I talked to one neighbor; he was out,” said Gabriel Lubel, a longtime Palm Springs resident. “Our neighbor across the street had power.”

Electricity returned to the area at around 5:30 p.m., and the outage was most likely weather related, according to SCE.

“You grin and bear it,” said Gabriel Lubel.

The cloud cover provided some protection from the sun, “but now it’s really muggy,” said Goodchild.

Its the price residents pay for living in the desert.

“We know we’re going to get heat in the summer,” said Goodchild. “It just happened to come a little later this year.”

The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of more than 40 mph in Idyllwild and the Pine Cove area.

KESQ News Team

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