An elevated section of Interstate 10 collapsed Sunday amid heavy rains in a remote desert area of California, cutting off traffic between the state and Arizona and leaving a driver injured.
The Tex Wash bridge in Desert Center, which carries the eastbound interstate about 15 feet above a normally dry wash west of the Arizona state line, snapped and washed away in flooding water below, the California Highway Patrol said.
One driver had to be rescued from a pickup truck that crashed in the collapse and was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries, the Riverside County Fire Department said. A passenger from the truck was able to get out without help and wasn't hurt.
"Bystanders quickly used straps from their trucks to secure vehicle to guardrail to prevent it from washing away," the Riverside County Fire Department officials said in a statement.
California transportation officials say the westbound side of the 10 Freeway has also been badly compromised by flooding in the same area where the eastbound side collapsed.
Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said Sunday night that it means the interstate that serves as a main route between California and Arizona will stay shut down "completely and indefinitely."
Kasinga says engineers won't even be able to properly assess the damage to the two sides until Monday morning, and offered no timeframe for their opening again.
In Moreno Valley, six homes were flooded with water and mud during the thunderstorm, requiring a water rescue by firefighters, officials said.
Firefighters reported to the scene at 4:01 p.m. in the 9900 block of Whitewater Road in Moreno Valley, said Jennifer Fuhrman of the Riverside County Fire Department.
The water and mud came down from the mountains above the homes, Fuhrman said.
A thunderstorm with estimated 60 mph winds dropped one inch of rain per hour to Riverside County on Sunday, causing flooding and mudslides on roads.
Aerial footage captured by NewsChopper4 showed people trying to push stranded vehicles out of heavily flooded streets in Moreno Valley.
In the city of Orange, several cars in a parking lot at Hart Park were nearly washed away by flash flooding. One person had to be rescued from a car, but fire officials said there were no reports of injuries.
Due to the inclement weather, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-Boston Red Sox game at Anaheim Stadium was postponed.
The wet weather was expected to continue through the Monday morning commute.
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Tropical Storm Dolores has lessened to a remnant low, but is still expected to bring in storms in the late afternoon, when temperatures are expected to be in the 80s and 90s.
The Inland Empire is the only area of SoCal that isn't expected to experience some rain Monday morning, NBC4 meteorologist Shanna Mendiola said.
Flash floods could occur across SoCal, except for along the coast and in the LA basin.
The National Weather Service issued the following watches, warnings and advisories:
- A flash flood warning was in effect for Riverside County until 11:15 p.m. and Orange County until 11:45 p.m.
- A flood advisory was issued for northern Ventura County. It was set to expire at 10:30 p.m.
- A flash flood watch was in effect until Monday evening for the Colby and Springs fire burn areas, Antelope Valley, Los Angeles County mountains excluding the Santa Monica range and Ventura County coast, valleys and mountains.
— Crystal Egger (@crystalNBCLA) July 19, 2015
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Photo Credit: Courtesy of KMIR
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