Rain Washes Away Parts of Bridge Connecting California and Arizona
By Tony Barboza
The 10 Freeway is shut in both directions near the eastern side of Joshua Tree National Park after rain from the weekend's unusual storms washed out a bridge in Desert Center on Sunday.
The bridge is about halfway between Palm Springs and the Arizona border, near where California 177 meets the 10.
On the eastbound side of the freeway, 30 feet of the roadway "is washed away and bridge is gone," according to the California Highway Patrol. On the westbound side, the CHP said, the bridge cannot be used until officials make sure it is sound.
Traffic is being turned around at Chiriaco Summit on the eastbound side and at Corn Springs on the westbound side. A SigAlert was issued at 5:45 p.m.
Meanwhile, moisture left over from a tropical storm off Baja California continued to stream through Southern California on Sunday and is expected to bring a new wave of scattered showers and thunderstorms beginning Sunday evening and continuing through Monday, forecasters said.
The unusual summer storm system that has brought rain, thunder and lightning to the region this weekend could drop an additional half an inch to three-quarters of an inch of rainfall, with about a 50% chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms through Monday evening, said National Weather Service meteorologist David Sweet.
On Saturday, the storm system knocked out power to thousands, closed beaches and helped quench wildfires, including the 3,500-acre North fire that had shut down Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass on Friday, burning cars and stranding motorists. That blaze was 60% contained by Sunday morning.
The storm activity has broken rainfall records across the region.
The 0.38 inches that fell in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday set a record for the most rainfall in July, surpassing the quarter-inch that fell in July 1886, Sweet said.
The influx of moisture has resulted in unusually humid air that feels more like Houston than mid-summer in Los Angeles.
"We're experiencing the remnants of what was once Hurricane Dolores," Sweet said. "All of that warm, muggy air associated with the tropical system is moving through and that's why it feels so uncomfortable."
Forecasters warned that the new round of storm activity may bring heavy rainfall that could flood roads and lightning that could pose hazards at beaches. A flash flood watch remained in effect for the mountains, recent burn areas and the Antelope Valley.
Drier weather should return by midweek, Sweet said.
(c)2015 the Los Angeles Times