June Storm Brings More Rain, Threat of Thunderstorms

SoCal Gets Soaked

SoCal Gets Soaked (Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES -- A strange week of weather is continuing today with another round of rain soaking the Southland.

The weather system comes just two days after a strong storm pounded the region with thunderstorms and lightning that left two people dead and seven injured. Dozens of fires were also sparked by lightning from the Inland Empire to Los Angeles county during Wednesday's storm.

Both deaths and most of the injuries happened in San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles.

Tina Bond, 40, was struck and killed by lightning near her home in Fontana, according to police.

Bond was standing in front of a home on Bennett Avenue at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, near a tree, when the incident occurred, said Fontana police Sgt. Jeff Decker.

Police said residents found her face down on the sidewalk after hearing two claps of thunder. A dark burned stripe was visible on the tree.

"She was hit with a very significant jolt of lightning that left a gaping hole in her neck," Decker said. "It burned down her body and blew out the bottom of her shoes," he added. "Her upper body clothing was blown about 30 feet away from her body."

Lightning Safety Tips

Another woman was injured when a bolt of lightning struck the pavement at the Cabazon Outlet mall in Palm Springs, according to a Cal Fire spokeswoman.

She was transported to a local hotel after suffering what were described as "moderate" injuries.

In the San Bernardino Mountains, 31-year-old Elena Martinez was killed after a wind-blown tree crushed her car as she drove along a residential street in during a thunderstorm.

Police say a large pine tree along Catalina Road above Avalon Drive snapped halfway up its trunk during strong winds and fell, taking down electrical lines and hitting her car. The coroner's office said the large tree broke off about 30 feet above the ground at 11 a.m. and crushed the driver's side of the Chevrolet Suburban.

A lightning strike also injured four men as they sat on a rock in San Bernardino, city fire officials said. The bolt of lightning struck a chain link fence and jumped to the large rock where the men were sitting. They had only minor burns on their backs.

In San Diego County, a man was hit by lightning as he worked outdoors in San Marcos. He was hospitalized in critical condition.

A Southwest Airlines plane bound for Burbank with 53 passengers onboard was struck by lightning shortly after taking off from Oakland International Airport around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. No injuries were reported and the plane safetly made its way back to the airport, officials said.

The lightning strikes that came with the storm were also being blamed for igniting about two dozen small fires, mostly in San Bernardino.

Some 22 small fires erupted in the San Bernardino National Forest, from the San Bernardino Mountains to near Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains, said forest spokesperson John Miller.

To the west, 19 small fires burned in Angeles National Forest. Most were an acre or less and a dozen were contained.

One of the most significant burned in the middle of the San Gabriel Mountains, northeast of Mount Wilson.

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