Last Friday and Saturday’s storm amounted to little more than a lot of water in Holtville, but you didn’t have to drive far to see the real damage that it caused.
Friday afternoon’s rain was followed by another downpour the next morning. The rain caused flooding of several rural roads, while the wind knocked down power poles southwest of town and caused scattered electrical outages. And a haystack was destroyed by fire on Friday after being struck by lightning.
The storm passed completely through the Imperial Valley but some places had hardly any rain while others received a significant amount in just a short time. The area between Holtville and Calexico had some of the most noticeable damage, and some sections of rural roads were still closed a few days later because of flooding.
The Imperial Irrigation District reported nearly 100 separate incidents of major damage to power poles, lines and other hardware.
In addition, the sudden downpours overloaded the existing natural and man-made drainage. The IID said that some canals and drains overflowed in both the south and north ends of the valley.
Holtville City Manager Nick Wells said that the city’s water and wastewater treatment plants both had to be run off their emergency generators for a while over the weekend because of power outages but there were no problems with the processes.
The Holtville Fire Department was prepared ahead of time and passed out sandbags to local businesses and residents who needed them. There are several spots around the city that seem to collect more water than normal, but firefighters know where they are and always get there before the rain hits.
The one bright spot from the storm seems to be cooler weather. Temperatures were expected to drop to below 100 degrees yesterday and remain there for at least the next ten days or so.