TWENTYNINE PALMS. — Thunderstorms lashed this desert city Monday, dumping up to 4 inches of rain in two hours and unleashing mud that stranded cars on the town's main thoroughfare.
At least four vehicles were trapped by up to 3 feet of mud oozing across California 62 and nearby streets, said Monta Stovall, a dispatcher with the California Highway Patrol in Barstow.
No one was injured. The state Department of Transportation brought in heavy earthmovers to clear the road, Stovall said.
The CHP closed California 62 between Twentynine Palms and California 177, east on the San Bernardino-Riverside county line. Traffic was detoured to Interstate 10.
A shift in weather patterns brought the monsoonal flow of moist air from the Gulf of California, said Joseph Nemeth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Las Vegas.
"We have a very deep layer of moisture over us," he said. "This can cause severe flash flooding."