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/ Source: Associated Press
By Alastair Jamieson

Summer storms triggered dangerous lightning and flash floods across Western states overnight, while much of the rest of the nation faced some of the highest temperatures of the season Sunday.

In Colorado, four teens were taken to taken to hospital Saturday after lighting struck near the pool area of Del Mark Park in Aurora, the local fire department told NBC station in Denver, KUSA.

Floodwaters swept RVs and vehicles away in Wickenburg, Arizona after heavy rains pounded the area.

The unusual weather turned California’s typically packed beaches into empty stretches of sand when the threat of lightning strikes forced authorities to close 70 miles of sandy shore. The popular Santa Monica Pier and its nearby beaches were also shuttered.

An Alaska Airlines jetliner was apparently struck by lightning after leaving Los Angeles International Airport, and was forced to return shortly after takeoff.

Meanwhile, outages were reported across the southern half of the state. At the peak of the outages, Pacific Gas and Electric said 73,000 customers — most of them in the Fresno area — had no power.

San Diego Gas & Electric reported several weather-related outages affecting hundreds of customers.

On Sunday, a mid-summer ridge of high pressure remains anchored in the southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley, forecasters said.

Highs in the 90s to lower 100s will be common from the southern Plains to the East Coast, Weather Channel forecaster Michael Palmer said.

Some locations likely to see their hottest temps of the summer on Sunday and Monday, while widespread heat advisories were in place from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Mid-Atlantic.