Winter Storm Causes Dangerous Road Conditions Across the Valley - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Coachella Valley

Winter Storm Causes Dangerous Road Conditions Across the Valley

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A powerful Pacific storm brought rain, wind and snow to Riverside County today, creating hazardous driving conditions and the potential for flooding.

By noon, 2.76 inches of rain had been recorded in Beaumont over a 24-hour period, the most countywide outside of the mountains. Other totals included 2.36 inches in Temecula, 2.26 inches in Cabazon, 2.25 inches in Hemet, 2.17 inches in Murrieta, 1.53 inches in Corona, 1.37 inches in Perris, 1.1 inches in Riverside and .91 inches in Norco, according to the National Weather Service.

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In the Coachella Valley, the western portion of the region saw the most rain, with 1.65 inches in Desert Hot Springs, 1.5 inches in Palm Springs and 1.29 inches in Cathedral City.

Rainfall flooded roadways with water and debris and led authorities to issue a voluntary evacuation order Monday evening due to the potential for flooding in a Corona residential neighborhood near the Riverside-Orange County border, where brush fires -- Canyon Fires 1 and 2 -- scorched thousands of acres last fall.

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In the San Gorgonio Pass, the storm brought down rocks on state Route 243, south of Banning. Just after noon, CHP reported that a large boulder was blocking southbound lanes. Beaumont police shut down the following streets and intersections this morning due to flooding risks:
   -- Cougar Way from Tioga Trail to Cherry Avenue;
   -- Cherry Avenue from Oak Valley Parkway to Rover Lane;
   -- Sixth Street from Michigan to Chestnut avenues;
   -- 11th Street at Wellwood Avenue;
   -- Wellwood Avenue at Pearl Street;
   -- 8th Street at Maple Avenue; and
   -- Brookside Avenue at Cherry Avenue

In the Coachella Valley, Cathedral City police this morning shut down Cathedral Canyon Drive at the Whitewater wash, where rain filled the roadway. Drivers were advised to use alternate routes like Date Palm Drive to circumvent the waterlogged road. The roadway was reopened around 1:30 p.m.

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Sporadic flooding was reported in other desert cities, but Cathedral Canyon was the only rain-related road closure reported in the valley by midday Tuesday.

A flood advisory issued by the National Weather Service was in effect until 10 p.m. and warned of potential flooding in Riverside, Moreno Valley and Corona, as well as several surrounding cities in San Bernardino County. Dangerous driving conditions were also expected to be worsened by high wind gusts, particularly in the San Gorgonio Pass area, where a high wind warning was also in effect until 10 p.m.

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