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Swift Water Rescue in Apple Valley After Sudden Storm Brings Thunder, Lightning, and Hail on Wednesday

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( — Residents around the Victor Valley experienced a drastic change in weather on Wednesday evening when a sudden storm rolled into the area bringing thunder, lightning, flash flooding, and even hail.

On March 20, 2023, not long after an ominous sunset, the remnants of the spring storm moved into the Victor Valley producing several noticeable large cloud formations.

Some residents in the Mesa area of Hesperia and Oak Hills reported experiencing rain and thunder. However, residents in the Town of Apple Valley experienced flash flooding, lightning, and hail.

storm cloud apple valley
(Photo: Vickie P. Baldridge)

“In all the years I have lived in the high desert, I had never heard the emergency sirens. It was crazy and scary to hear,” commented Victor Valley News Group Member Norma Armenta.

Joshua Castro replied and said it was the Spring Valley Lake siren that is used to tell everyone to get out of the water or to stay away.

lightning in apple valley
(Photo from Apple Valley taken by Daisy Murty Estrada)

Taylor Shane shared a photo of his garage that was completely flooded near Apple Valley Road and Highway 18. Shane said it rained for approximately 15 minutes but it was enough to flood his garage and a bedroom.

At about 8:11 pm, Firefighters from the Apple Valley Fire Protection District were dispatched to a swift water rescue on Kasota Road, just south of Highway 18, near Potomac Road.

water in garage from sudden storm
(Photo: Taylor Shane)

A woman driving in a blue Honda Fit ran off the roadway, and into a drainage wash. She was stuck inside the vehicle and unable to exit safely on her own.

Interim Batallion Chief Sean Grober said they utilized Medic Truck 336 to rescue the victim.

swift water rescue in apple valley

“It seemed we had a cell come over Apple Valley and lasted for about 45 minutes or so, brought a significant amount of rain,” stated Grober. “The victim was not harmed in any way and is doing well and in good spirits.”

Desert Recovery founding members Eddie Kochara and his wife Shannon responded to the incident and helped the owner recover the vehicle from the moving water.

Desert Recovery is a Facebook group with over 11,000 members who volunteer their time and personal vehicles to help motorists who are stuck in places usually where tow trucks can’t service. The group never charges a fee for helping someone out.

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