Dust Storm rattles nerves

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Large Indian Laurel downed by wind storm at Brawley Plaza Park

BRAWLEY – A dust storm that was expected to affect areas between Blythe and Twentynine Palms hit the Imperial Valley Thursday night, causing decreased visibility and concerns about flash flooding.

 

iMPerial valley dust storm
Storm front approaching Brawley

At about 8:30 p.m., Stefanie Sullivan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Services, said the dust was coming from Yuma County to the southwest. As a result, visibility in Brawley had decreased to about 2 or 3 miles.

 

An emergency alert warning of the dust storm, which was initially issued just after 5:30 p.m. Thursday, was extended to midnight.

 

There was also a flash flood warning issued for La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella.

 

According to the weather service, wind gusts in the Valley peaked at 37 mph Thursday night, while in Palm Springs they topped out at 31 mph.

Brawley’s Main Street was littered with palm fronds that had blown from the trees lining the thoroughfare.

 

At 8:45 p.m., there were reports of lightning in the skies above the Imperial Valley.

Valley residents reported hearing from several in Yuma that they had lost power.

The National Weather Service is predicting a chance of thunderstorms in the Imperial Valley on Saturday and Sunday with heavy rain expected by Monday.

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