California Residents Experience Flash Floods and Serious Damage

Flash floods can cause a lot of damage, like this road in Joshua Tree National Park. Photo courtesy of Associated Press.

Southern California is seeing heavy storms currently: storms that can cause a lot of damage, especially when residents and business owners don’t see them coming.

Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are receiving pouring rain, in some areas over 2 inches per hour. The large amount of rain all at one time is what causes flash floods. One area that has experienced this and the ensuing damage is Joshua Tree – see the photo of damaged roads. 

These storms don’t only bring floods, though. Another present danger is lightning, which doesn’t come around very much in Southern California, but can still cause extreme damage and real danger. In fact, three U.S. Forest Service firefighters were hurt when lightning struck just 50 feet away from them while standing near the border of Kern and Ventura counties, according to Andrew Masden, forestry spokesperson. While the three weren’t badly hurt, they did report that they felt very disoriented and complained of ringing in their ears, and one was held overnight for observation.

Lightning also appeared close by Palm Springs, and set some palm trees on fire as the storm quickly passed through. Luckily in this case, the heavy rains that appeared in conjunction with the storm helped firefighters get the fires under control quickly. In total, there were eleven calls to the Palm Springs fire department Tuesday morning that had to do with the lightning – a result of a storm lasting only 2 and one half hours.

Children and pets are especially prone to danger during storms, and require extra care. Many dogs and cats are startled by the sounds and bright flashes of a thunder and lightning storm, so we encourage you to try to keep them indoors in a comfortable area, perhaps with their favorite toy or cuddle object. Kids can also become afraid or, in some cases even worse, be attracted to to the thunder and lightning and decide to go outside to explore. This happened to a family in Lake Arrowhead, when their 8-year-old autistic son went missing for over a full day and night, during which the storm rolled through. Luckily the boy was found, safe and unharmed, although missing his t-shirt.

Is your Orange County home or business prepared for sudden storms, flash flooding and the damage that heavy waters can inflict in a very short time? The weather this year has been very fickle – and extreme. Don’t be caught without a plan when disaster strikes! Keep Milestone Building Group in mind in case of emergency.

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