Riverside County will dry off Friday as the first significant rainstorm of the season moves out of the region, but mandatory evacuation orders remain in place in parts of the Temescal Valley and Lake Elsinore, where schools remain closed due to the inclement weather.
The Lake Elsinore Unified School District announced the decision Thursday morning to close Luiseno Elementary School, Rice Canyon Elementary School, Withrow Elementary School, Terra Cotta Middle School and Lakeside High School, all of which are situated in or near residential areas under mandatory evacuation because of flooding, mud and debris flow risks.
With evacuation orders still not lifted as of early Friday morning, district officials decided to extend the closures into Friday at Luiseno, Rice Canyon, Terra Cotta and Withrow. Lakeside High and all other LEUSD campuses will be open Friday, officials said.
Rain bands swept through Riverside County all day Thursday, causing heavy runoff in the Cleveland National Forest, on which county Emergency Management Department staff remained focused, fearing potential mud and debris flows into residential areas.
In a 24-hour period ending around 10:15 p.m. Thursday, the storm had dropped 2 inches of rain in Beaumont, 1.22 inches in Temecula, .84 of an inch in Murrieta, .71 of an inch in Riverside, 1.32 inches in Corona, 1.65 inches in Idyllwild, 1.65 inches in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and .07 of an inch in Palm Springs, according to the National Weather Service.
There were no reports of significant damage. However, multiple roads were closed Thursday between Corona and Lake Elsinore because of pooling water. Thunderstorms pounded the Riverside metropolitan area at nightfall, causing roadway hazards and wrecks.
A mandatory evacuation order that went into effect Wednesday remained in effect Thursday night for Lake Elsinore residents along Alberhill Ranch Road and Amorose Street, residents west of Laguna Avenue, as well as residents on Glen Eden Road south of Corona, the Glen Ivy Hot Springs community, the Horsethief Canyon community and the area around McVicker Park in Lake Elsinore.
A map delineating which neighborhoods are impacted is available at rivcoready.org/Have-a-Plan/Flooding/Storm-Ready .
A care and reception center is open at Temescal Canyon High School.
Residents were invited to house large and small animals at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus, 581 S. Grand Ave. in San Jacinto.
The NWS is forecasting less than one-tenth of an inch of rain in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and around one-tenth of an inch in the San Jacinto Mountains. Lake Elsinore, Corona, Riverside and the Coachella Valley were not expected to receive any significant rainfall Friday.
Rain fell Thursday in the burn zone created by the 13,000-acre Cranston Fire and small-scale mud and rock slides were reported, but no evacuations were ordered for the area.
High temperatures Friday are expected to reach 63 degrees in Riverside, 56 in the county mountains, 69 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and 72 in the Coachella Valley.
A cold trough of low pressure will sweep into the region Saturday afternoon and could bring enough moisture to drop light rainfall through Sunday morning, NWS forecasters said.