The City of Gardena Saw Its Wetest May Day Since 1954

Scattered storms, lightning hit Southern California and prompt beach closures

Southern California was hit with scattered storms and lightning over the past several days, prompting school closures, beach cancellations and power outages.

The storms and lightning were from a cold front that moved through the area after moving into Northern California. The front also brought with it heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Debby.

The storms moved through Southern California on Monday and Tuesday, with the most intense storms hitting around Newport Beach. Storms are expected to move away from Southern California on Wednesday.

Wind gusts in Orange County reached more than 60 mph, causing beach closures and some power outages. Orange County recorded its wettest May Day since 1954 in the form of heavy rains, with some areas seeing up to 20 inches in just two days.

“We just got a really big rain storm, which is unusual for Orange County,” said Michael Roberts, an editor with the Times-Press. “In the past it has been just rain.”

The city of Gardena saw its wettest May Day since 1954 as well. The weather service had forecast a rainfall total of between 15 and 20 inches in the city, but with the city experiencing one of its heaviest downpours in years, it got 22.5 inches in just two days.

“This storm is going to be really powerful. It’s going to be like a monster,” Gardena Mayor Mark Bensman said. “There is absolutely no indication that this will end soon.”

Bensman said he’s been receiving text messages from some of his fellow mayors in Southern California, who said the storms are “unprecedented in Southern California.”

He said the city is going to be “completely grid-locked for the next couple of days” and will remain that way until the storm passes through.

The city plans to re-open later this week with the hope that everyone can “get their

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