TEMECULA (CBSLA.com) — The Inland Empire experienced another hot and muggy day Wednesday, leading to thunderstorms with lots of rain and lightning.

Mobile Weather Lab was in the IE chasing storms.

A surprisingly strong summer storm hit the Inland Empire hard Tuesday.

Pouring rain, gusty wind, and lightning wreaked havoc across the inland region, lighting trees on fire, turning outdoor staircases into waterfalls and streets into raging rivers that carried patio chairs and trash bins away.

A dozen lightning strikes were spotted along Orange Street in Redlands, while lightning also caused trees to catch fire in Moreno Valley.

Lightning near the shore also forced an evacuation of the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. The competition was set to resume Wednesday.

The National Weather Service received reports of a funnel cloud in San Bernardino and sudden downpours created rivers of water at golf courses in Temecula.

GALLERY: Impressive Storm Hits Inland Empire

After the storm passed, residents were left to pick up downed trees and furniture that had been thrown about.

“We had trash cans flowing down the trees, trees toppling over. I mean, it was pretty crazy for Corona, we don’t get this kind of weather here,” one resident said.

A tree toppled onto a San Bernardino home, its branches nearly piercing the ceiling. The homeowner said he had just purchased the home in February.

The continued threat of rain and thunderstorms prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood watch for much of Riverside County, while inland and high desert areas of Los Angeles County were put under a flash flood watch.


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