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Rare July Rain Washes Out Bridge On I-10 In California

A rare July rainstorm broke records and washed out part of California highway Interstate 10 on Sunday.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tweeted some pictures that showed water gushing right through the highway. The pictures also showed a crew rescuing a driver in a pickup truck.

The Los Angeles Times reports that this kind of rain in July is exceedingly rare. How rare? It was the first time a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball game was rained out since 1995.

The Times reports:

"July rain is so unusual in Southern California that the storm broke a number of records for the month. The 0.36-inch that fell in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday set a record for the most rainfall in July, surpassing the quarter-inch that fell in July 1886, said National Weather Service meteorologist David Sweet.

" 'July is typically the driest month of the year,' weather service meteorologist Scott Sukup said Sunday. 'To have that much rain yesterday and another significant storm today is pretty unusual. ... For July it's historical.'

"Forecasters expect patches of rain and some heavy downpours through Monday as the remnants of a tropical storm off Baja California continued to stream north, producing the kind of sticky weather more akin to Houston than midsummer in Los Angeles."

There was some good news that came with the rain: It helped crews get wildfires under control.

Matt Guilhem, with NPR member station KVCR, reports that the rains — and, just as importantly, the high humidity — meant containment kept rising, leading authorities to lift evacuations.

"It's no longer a complete tinderbox on the fire lines," Matt said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.