Storm closes 79/371 junction

AGUANGA – A thunderstorm sweeping through Aguanga caused water and mud to submerge the junction of state Routes 79 and 371 today, prompting the California Highway Patrol to close both highways at the location.

“We’re turning vehicles around before they get there,” Officer Harvey Ray told City News Service this afternoon. “We’ve called in a blade truck (to remove debris), and Caltrans is setting up closure signs. It may take an hour or more for that water to dissipate.”

The storm cell dumped a large amount of rain about 1 p.m., leaving the junction flooded, according to the CHP.

Ray said motorists were being stopped at Rainbow Road on the 79 and on Jojoba Road on the 371, where they were being sent back in the direction they came.

A couple of vehicles became stuck in the flood zone, but no one was injured, according to reports from the scene.

Radar images indicated heavy thunderstorm activity along the boundary separating Riverside and San Diego counties, with cells moving north into the Temecula Valley.

On Tuesday, heavy downpours triggered flooding, mud and debris flows throughout Lake Elsinore, Meadowbrook, Perris, Temecula and surrounding locations. A number of intersections were closed, but those closures were lifted overnight, according to the Riverside County Department of Transportation.

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