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Preparations in East Valley for potential thunderstorms

News Channel 3's weather team has issued a First Alert Weather Alert for potential thunderstorms that may move throughout Riverside County and desert areas.

We were able to speak to residents and officials about how they're preparing for potential power outages caused by the severe weather like high winds and thunderstorms.

Mecca resident, Jose Luis Rodriguez, tells me how difficult power outages can be especially for people living in North Shore, like his father.

"There's a lot of people that work in the fields, and they have to go all the way to Indio to get hotels. The food gets bad, and have to leave everything behind," says Rodriguez.

Unpredictable weather like thunder storms and high winds have caused flooding and power outages throughout the Eastern Valley.

Robert Schettler with the Imperial Irrigation System says there have been improvements to power poles since last year.

"They've been replaced with today's poles that meet today's standards, which are higher engineering standards. So there should be several in that region, or at least more than there was before," says Schettler.

The County of Riverside Emergency Management Department says they are not expecting Thursday's storm to activate their Emergency Operation Center. You can read more about the center here.

Residents in these areas also say that they are concerned with flooding, during these kinds of storms.

"Sometimes there's too much water, there's too much dirt, cars get stuck," add Rodriguez.

Shane Reichardt with Riverside County's Emergency Management Department says that managing vehicles during flash flooding could be dangerous.

"In the desert we know that we get flash flooding. We get areas that don't see water on a very regular basis, but when they do, they tend to gets lots of water and so you get this rapid moving water across roadways that can easily sweep away even a four by four vehicle," says Reichardt.

Reichardt also adds to stay away from any power lines that have been knocked down.

He also suggests having an emergency preparedness kit with flashlights, batteries, waters and a portable charger for your mobile phone.

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Bianca Ventura

Bianca Ventura joined KESQ News Channel 3 as a reporter in February 2022.
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