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More flash floods possible as storms move across Southern California

A flash flood watch remained in effect Monday for Riverside County after a slow-moving downpour drenched several Inland Empire communities and stranded cars in several feet of water over the weekend.

Riverside Canyon saw more than 1 1/2 inches of rain over a two-hour period Sunday and Valley Vista near Hemet had more than three inches of rain, said Stephen Harrison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Firefighters had to rescue five adults and three children who became trapped near the 91 Freeway and 14th Street, KTLA reported.

The showers also resulted in at least two inches of rain in the slow lane of the eastbound 60 Freeway at Main Street, leaving cars stuck in the water, according to the California Highway Patrol.

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Monday’s flash flood watch was issued for the mountains and deserts in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as Coachella Valley, and is in effect until 8 p.m.

The stormy weather pattern is a spinoff from Hurricane Norbert, which is dwindling in strength along the peninsula of Baja Mexico, officials said.

Despite the heavy downpour, the rain does little for the region’s long-term drought outlook, officials said.

“Unfortunately, these storms don’t really make a dent in the drought,” Harrison told The Times on Monday. “We need a large, prolonged rain event to really make a dent.”

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Forecasters said the same thing last month when a near 500-year rain event in the San Gabriel Mountains flooded several communities and triggered destructive mudslides.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.


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