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Southland Hammered By Storms

It was another hot and dry day in the desert Wednesday. But it could have been a lot worse.

Storm systems from San Diego to the high desert left several roads in Yucca Valley flooded.

Thunder and lightning also lit up various pockets of the Southland.

The desert heat sent many out of the valley to the beaches to escape the scorching triple degree temperatures.

Waves 15 feet high were reported at Huntington Beach.

Yucca Valley was pounded by rain and hail, and a passing storm at Lake Elsinore downed power lines, putting drivers in jeopardy.

Lightning sparked multiple fires in the Southland.

Downed trees and power lines the result of a strong storm hovering over Lake Elsinore.

“It sounded like bombs going off,” said a woman who witnessed eleven passengers trapped in a bus wait nearly an hour before fire fighters to arrive and cut the power lines.

“I thought we got electricuted,” she said. “There was lightening. There was a monsoon.”

Everyone in the bus made it out okay. No one was hurt.

“At first, it was just kind of drizzling but then it just came down in big droplets,” said Greg Pringle, a Yucca Valley resident whose street was flooded by the storm.

There were reports of pea-sized hail in Yucca Valley.

Video captured by a News Channel 3 viewer documented the chaos falling from the sky.

“It was pouring really, really hard,” said Sonika Singh, a Yucca Valley resident who witnessed lightning. “The raindrops were really big, and I didn’t see any hail. There (was) lightning though. Lots of lightening.”

Several dips along 29 Palms Highway and surrounding roads were flooded. Three quarters of an inch of rain fell in that area in less than an hour, according to the National Weather Service,

“There were a couple of cars that appeared to be stuck at one point,” said Pringle.

Just up the road from Pioneer Town, bolts of lightning striking from the sky were seen near Victorville.

“I started paddling for a little and the next thing I know I’m like a mile out,” said Bret Klein, a body surfer.

The heat and high suft sent hundreds out of the desert to Huntington Beach.

The waves peaked at 15 feet in some areas there.

“It was really crazy and the rip tide was really strong and the waves were huge,” said Klein.

“I (wanted) to pull the grandchildren back and say ‘don’t get so close to the edge!'” said Kathy Fisher, a spectator.

It was an overall nasty day of weather for the southern end of the Golden State.

Still, some welcomed the rain.

“Everythings dry,” said Pringle. “There’s no grass. Any water would be much appreciated.”

“I guess we really do need it being here in the desert,” said Singh. “But then the aftermath is its really hot and humid.”

When the storm rolled into Yucca Valley, the temperature went from 100 degrees to 78 degrees in nearly an instant.

But that still made for muggy conditions.

KESQ News Team


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