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Lightning strike kills woman, 2 dogs in Southern California

Southern California Thunderstorms
Posted at 12:35 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 16:13:22-04

UPDATE (1:11 PM): Authorities in Los Angeles County say a woman and two dogs found dead on a path were struck by lightning. A sheriff's official says the bodies were found Wednesday morning along the San Gabriel River in Pico Rivera.

The fatal lightning strike was reported at 8:50 a.m. near the San Gabriel River in Pico Rivera, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Jonathan Branham.

“It was a female Hispanic adult who had been struck by lightning and did not survive her injuries,” he said. “She was walking two dogs and the dogs were also deceased.”

The woman was not immediately identified. The city ordered its work crews and summer camps indoors, and canceled outdoor activities including a farmers market.

A death was being investigated after lightning, thunder and downpours hit Southern California on Wednesday.

Authorities were investigating whether a woman and two dogs found dead on a path in Pico Rivera had been struck by lightning, CBS Los Angeles reported.

At the scene alongside the San Gabriel River, City Manager Steve Carmona told the station that city crews and summer camps were ordered indoors due to lightning.

The thunderstorms were caused by a low-pressure system off the coast pulling monsoonal moisture northward into the region, meteorologists said. The flurry of lightning bolts and downpours was a dramatic display of weather not typical of June.

Southern California Edison reported power outages affecting more than 27,000 customers, mostly in Los Angeles County.

Forecasters issued special weather statements as particularly heavy cells developed over various areas.

The National Weather Service said most rainfall was light but there were exceptions, including a cell over the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County where a gauge recorded nearly an inch of rain.

The lightning raised concern about the potential for fires in the drought-stricken region, and lifeguards closed some Orange County beaches.

Forecasters said the weather would start calming down on Thursday and then become more June-like.