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Rain, thunder and lightning pound L.A. area; flooding possible

Rain, thunder and lightning pound L.A. area; flooding possible
Lightning splits the sky over downtownLos Angeles July 18, 2015. More storms could be ahead in the coming days. (Harry Chandler / For The Times)

Southern California was pounded by scattered showers thanks to Tropical Cyclone Dolores, prompting concerns about lightning and flooding.

The National Weather Service warned of possible flooding through 5:15 p.m. in parts of Southern California due to intense storm cells.

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Thousands of residents were without power in the region due to the storm --10,000 in L.A. alone. There were reports of lightning strkes, including one that set palm trees on fire in Echo Park.

Many L.A. County beaches were closed through the afternoon because of the risk of lightning.

There was a 30% chance of showers through Saturday, night along with thunderstorms and a powerful ocean swell that will stretch from Los Angeles County to Santa Barbara County, forecasters say.

Temperatures will range from the mid-80s along the coast to the lower 90s inland and the humidity will be high everywhere.

Because of moisture from the tropical storm, downgraded from hurricane status Friday and weakening off the Baja California coast, there's little risk of dry lightning strikes in the region's parched mountains; in fact, the scattered storms and persistent humidity may actually add some much-needed moisture to the vegetation.

If the storms bring thunderstorms to the coast, lifeguards may call beachgoers out of the water. Last summer, a man died and several others were injured when lightning strikes shocked swimmers in the waters off Venice Beach.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

ALSO

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