RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif – Emergency officials say a forecasted storm with heavy rain and strong, sustained winds could cause flooding and other dangerous impacts countywide, including in recent burn areas such as the Fairview Fire.

The National Weather Service forecasts up to 7 inches of rain in areas of Riverside County, which could lead to flash flooding and potential mud and debris flows. Forecasters say areas most susceptible include the Coachella Valley and recent burn areas.

“Based on forecasts, this appears to be a dangerous storm. We want the public to prepare now,” said Bruce Barton, director of the Emergency Management Department (EMD) in Riverside County. “If you encounter a road that’s flooded, never try to walk or drive through it.”

Forecasters say a Flood Watch is in effect countywide from Friday morning through Saturday evening. In addition, a High Wind Warning is in effect all day Friday with peak gusts up to 55 mph in the valleys and 75 mph in the mountains and desert.

Sandbags are available from many fire stations and hardware stores. Residents are urged to monitor weather reports and alerts and heed any evacuations instructions.

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