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Thunderstorms hit Southern California

July 6, 2011 |  5:49 pm

Parts of Southern California were being hit by heavy thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon as monsoonal moisture triggered isolated flooding that forced officials to shut down roads.

The National Weather Service issued an advisory for the northern Antelope Valley area, warning that hail up to a half-inch in diameter and wind gusts up to 40 mph were possible. Doppler radar indicated that a strong system was near Rosamond and moving slowly south.

Downpours were reported around the Tejon Pass near the borders of Los Angeles and Kern counties. Thunderstorms also struck Hesperia and Phelan in San Bernardino County, where Highway 18 was shut down in the Sheep Creek area, officials said.

Rainfall forced the California Highway Patrol to shut down Highway 138 in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains for a while before reopening it, officials said.

The threat of thunderstorms is expected to last through Thursday, according to the weather service.

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— Robert J. Lopez

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