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Highway 'Washed Away' After Heavy Rain Pounds Riverside County

ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — Riverside County officials Thursday urged residents in Idyllwild and surrounding areas to shelter in place due to "unsafe" road conditions as torrential rain inundated Southern California, turning tunnels into lakes and streets into rivers.

Anyone living in the areas of Idyllwild, Mountain Center, and Pine Cove were urged to shelter in place or head to Idylllwild School at 26700 Highway 243, according to Cal Fire.

Highway 243 near Lake Fulmore, north of Idyllwild, was "washed away" by the storm, according to California Highway Patrol.

Heavy rain began pounding Southern California Wednesday night into Thursday, creating dangerous driving conditions on streets and freeways across the region.

Joy Alercon was caught off guard as she drove through a tunnel on Douglass Road near the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center. She says when she tried to drive through at about 4:30 a.m., the water was just halfway up her wheels. Within an hour, the water was halfway up her doors.

She was able to get out of her car and wade across to a sidewalk platform.

The underpass is expected to remain closed while crews work on pumping water out.

Flooding also shut down Pacific Coast Highway south of Warner in Huntington Beach, and both directions of El Toro between Laguna Canyon Road and the 73 Toll Road and Broadway between Beach and PCH in Laguna Beach.

In Huntington Beach, Pacific Coast Highway was also shut down south of Warner in Huntington Beach due to flooding.

In Los Angeles County, flooding was reported on the 5, 134, 105, 710 and 110 freeways; on Manchester Avenue at Firestone Boulevard in South LA. and at La Cienega Boulevard at Imperial Highway in Hawthorne. More reports of flooding are expected as the heaviest rainfall is expected between 6 and 11 a.m. Thursday.

Drivers were urged to stay clear of 35th Street and Palm Drive after a sinkhole was reported at about 7 a.m. in Hermosa Beach.

Flooding also hit the Via Verde Golf Course in San Dimas Canyon, covering the green in 2 to 3 feet of water.

In Burbank, police shut down several streets because of flooding, including:

  • Country Club Drive at Via Montana
  • Walnut Avenue east of Sunset Canyon
  • Harvard Road at Sunset Canyon
  • Southbound Buena Vista Street under the 5 Freeway.

Several canyon roads in San Bernardino County were closed due to the storm and heavy rain causing standing water. Current road closures include:

  • SR 18 from Snow Valley to Big Bear Dam
  • SR 38 from Valley of the Falls to Seven Oaks Road
  • SR 173 from SR 138 to Summit Valley Road
  • SR 83 from SR 71 to Pine Avenue
  • SR 2 remains closed from Big Pine to Islip Saddle

SR 74 between Lake Hemet and Valle Vista was also closed.

In Palm Springs, the rainfall has been so significant that the police department has asked residents to shelter in place so emergency services can respond to rescues and other issues related to several instances of flooding and street closures.


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