Rain Leaves Behind Debris On Desert Roadways

Rain Leaves Behind Debris On Desert Roadways

Ceci Partridge

Overnight thunderstorms and lingering showers this morning across Riverside County dropped over an inch of rain in some areas of the low desert, which flooded roadways and left behind debris.

In the 24-hour period prior to 11 a.m., the cloudburst dropped 1.10 inches of rain in Indio, 0.91 inches in Palm Springs, 0.75 inches in Temecula, 0.64 inches in Hemet and 0.74 inches in Riverside, according to the National Weather Service.

Flash flood warnings issued by the NWS for the Coachella Valley and Blythe expired earlier Saturday.

A debris flow caused by the rainfall was blamed for the closure of Varner Road between Date Palm Drive and Mountain View Road in Cathedral City, which is expected to be reopened Monday. Authorities advised the public to use Interstate 10 as an alternative route.

About 20 miles north of Blythe, three tractor-trailers became mired in sand on the northbound U.S. Route 95 and had to be pulled out by a tow truck, while two other vehicles became stuck in the mud 10 miles up the road, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Rock debris was also strewn across Dillon Road near Berdoo Canyon Road north of Indio, where the CHP coned off the northbound lane.

In Menifee, the rain caused the cancellation of the Multiculural Festival and the Soap Box Derby events set for Saturday, which will be rescheduled, city officials said in a tweet.

Forecasters expect the rain to taper off late Saturday as the storm moves east, with Sunday expected to be dry and warmer.