Sunday Storm brings cool temps and mudslides

Photo Mary Ellen Hannon
Highway 78 mudslides after Sunday’s storm. Photo Mary Ellen Hannon
Imperial Valley experienced wind and rain as a low pressure storm blew through the county early Sunday.

The National Weather Service reported .11 inches in precipitation on Sunday morning while wind speed reached 15 miles per hour. Visibility was down to 3 miles at 3:00 a.m.

Temperatures were unseasonally cool reaching down to 84 degrees giving a surprisingly pleasant evening to the county.

The IID reported that all residents maintained power through the storm.

Highway 78 experienced mudslides that blocked traffic traveling on the mountain highway.

One lane of Interstate 10 about 40 miles east of Indio washed away in heavy runoff from thunderstorms today, according to CHP officers.

And the California Highway Patrol was sending crews to a report of “hundreds” of cars stuck between flooded washes on State Route 62 near Joshua Tree National Monument, between Indio and Parker, Arizona.

That report to 911 was not immediately verified by CHP officers, who were making their way there mid-afternoon Sunday.

CHP officers at Desert Center, nearly halfway between Indio and Blythe, said traffic on Interstate 10 heading towards Arizona was making its way around the washout in the left lane, and Caltrans crews had been dispatched to the scene.

Other roads southwest of Indio were covered with as much as six feet of mud and rocks, including Box Canyon Road east of Mecca, the CHP reported. By 4 p.m. the heavy downpour completely flooded Box Canyon Road in both directions, making driving hazardous, the CHP reported.

CHP officers gave a ride to four carloads of people who were forced to leave their cars at a high spot until county crews could clear a path through mud six feet deep.

In Blythe, a freeway underpass was flooded by mud at the Route 78 junction, according to the CHP.

In the San Jacinto Mountains, churning mud washed across State Route 243 near Pine Cove, blocking the road between Beaumont and Idyllwild.

Debris was seen flowing onto Highway 74 near Mountain Center, between Hemet and Indio.