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Major wind events in Coachella Valley far from blowing over

Another major wind event pummeled parts of the Coachella Valley on Wednesday, forcing the closures of North Indian Canyon Drive and Gene Autry Trail at the wash. The conditions add to the list of consecutive weeks hit with high-traveling winds.

"This wind is something else today," said Indio resident, Joaquin Rosales.

Rosales stopped at the Pilot Travel Center in Palm Springs to fuel up and secure his load packed away in the back of his truck.

"Those things are flying everywhere. I had to redo all my tie-downs and get it all ready because the wind is just getting worse as I’m going up the hill. I just got to be ready for it," said Rosales before heading up to 29 Palms.

The Pilot Travel Center is a popular stop-off point for drivers passing through the desert.

"You can feel the gusts of wind hitting the side of your car, tending to make you want to slide to the right," said Oregon resident, Robert Huffman.

Further down North Canyon Drive is where drivers were having to turn back at blockades keeping them from passing through a sand-ridden area.

One driver ignored the signs and tried driving around the blockade, but she didn't get far. Her car got stuck in the sand and had to be towed out. She also received a ticket.

Across town, winds may not have been as powerful in the downtown Palm Springs area, but it is no stranger to past wind events that have wreaked havoc on outdoor dining patios.

"It makes it hard for us especially for people who want to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather," said Bongo Johnny's manager, Erica Lopez.

Though Wednesday was a little calmer, Lopez said during powerful wind gusts it's difficult to keep patio equipment anchored down.

"We have the umbrellas to block the sun and make people dine comfortably outside but then the wind comes so a lot of times we have to put the umbrellas away because the wind will knock over the umbrellas and fly down the streets," said Lopez.

Wednesday's wind did impact the amount of patio seated guests at the new 1501 Uptown Gastropub on North Palm Canyon Drive.

"As soon as we heard that there was going to be wind we stopped taking reservations on 6 of the tables, move all the guests around and plan not to be able to seat that section of the restaurant," said co-owner, Willie Rhine.

Rhine said closing the section causes them to lose about 25 guests.

"We have some really great garage doors, but unfortunately when it’s windy it just blows right through the restaurant so we have to shut down the north section of the restaurant," Rhine said.

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Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019. Learn more about Shelby here.

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