Scattered storms, lightning hit Southern California and prompt beach closures
Karen Brown, Los Angeles Times
It rained for days, leaving behind a swath of destruction across the area that was once known as the Garden of Eden.
The National Weather Service said Tuesday that at least 11 tornadoes formed over the Los Angeles area from Saturday night through Sunday. In some of the worst cases, the storms also created large wildfires.
The fires were spread to multiple locations, particularly in and around Los Angeles County, causing evacuations in several areas. And the destructive storms created the threat of more flooding that could affect the region.
Los Angeles County Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said Tuesday that the evacuation orders for a couple of California locations — the San Fernando Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley — had been lifted.
No injuries were reported in the tornadoes, which were reported in Los Angeles, Ventura County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and were more widespread in the areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
“There was very little damage, but if you saw the wind and looked out over the area, it was pretty powerful,” said Brian Murphy, a storm chaser who was reporting from the area Tuesday.
He said the storms left behind a landscape of destruction.
“It was a pretty scary morning,” he said.
He saw trees falling, but he estimated the damage to be minimal compared to the devastation caused by the massive wildfires that raged for months across Northern California.
“The fires were worse than anything I’ve seen, and the devastation was very real,” he said.
The National Weather Service in Fairfield said Tuesday morning that the storms were responsible for bringing down a power line on top of a nearby highway bridge while also causing damage to a nearby hillside.
A similar storm on July 4 last year caused damage in the Ventura County area, the National Weather Service reported Tuesday.
“This is certainly not a normal weather pattern,” the weather service said.
By the time the storm passed through Ventura County, there was flooding,