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Lightning strike kills woman and 2 dogs in California


LOS ANGELES-

A woman and two dogs were killed by lightning on Wednesday as thunderstorms battered Southern California, authorities said.

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

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

The woman was later identified as Antonia Mendoza Chavez, 52.

The city ordered its work crews and summer camps to stay indoors and canceled outdoor activities, including a farmers’ market.

The thunderstorms were caused by a low pressure system off the coast driving monsoon moisture north into the region, meteorologists said.

Southern California Edison reported power outages affecting more than 27,000 customers.

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

Lightning raised concerns about the potential for wildfires in the drought-stricken region, and rescuers closed some Orange County beaches.

Forecasters said the weather would start to calm down on Thursday and then turn to more typical June conditions.

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