A morning storm brought lightning and some rain to the Coachella Valley, and may have contributed to power outages that affected thousands of utility customers.
The stormy weather also had an impact on Southwest Riverside County, where lightning, rain and gusty winds were reported throughout the region. Officials reported no major problems, although the winds knocked down a few tree limbs and the wet roads may have contributed to several minor fender benders.
A trace of rain was recorded about 5 a.m. at the Palm Springs International Airport, Cathedral Canyon, Palm Desert, Thousand Palms and Thermal, reported .01 to .05 of an inch of the wet stuff.
Riverside County firefighters responded to several reports of fires, but the rain doused the flames quickly, department spokeswoman Jody Hagemann said.
About 1,600 Southern California Edison customers lost power when a tree fell on some wires at 5:21 a.m. near Calle Lileta and Arenas Road in Palm Springs, said utility spokesman Charles Coleman.
The area was bordered by Sunny Dunes Road, Calle Alvarado, Alejo Road and Paseo de Gracia.
Electricity was restored to all but 21 of the customers by 6:40 a.m., and the rest were expected to have their power back by 5 p.m., Coleman said.
In Palm Desert, 1,300 customers lost power at 8:37 a.m. in the area bounded by Highway 111 to the north, Grapevine Street to the south, Deep Canyon Road to the east and Edgehill Drive to the west, according to Coleman.
Power was restored to all customers by 10:15 a.m., said Edison spokesman Steve Conroy.
He said the cause of the outage was unknown, “but there were reports of rain, lightning and wind at the time of the outage. This may have been lightning related.”
At 11 a.m., 3,000 customers lost power in Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and North Palm Springs, he said.
The outage appears to have been caused by equipment that failed at a substation in Palm Springs, according to Conroy.
Electricity was restored by 1 p.m., he said.
The spokesman said there may be more outages because of lightning strikes from thunderstorms in the area.