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City Workers Praised For Storm Response

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Aired 1/5/11

The clouds have rolled out and now the praise is rolling in. San Diego leaders are lauding city workers for how they handled December’s record breaking rains.

— The clouds have rolled out and now the praise is rolling in. San Diego leaders are lauding city workers for how they handled December’s record breaking rains.

A rushing channel is created as storm drains overflow and can no longer handle the water in the flooded Mission Trails Golf Course, in the San Carlos neighborhood of San Diego.
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Above: A rushing channel is created as storm drains overflow and can no longer handle the water in the flooded Mission Trails Golf Course, in the San Carlos neighborhood of San Diego.

City employees are being praised for actions they took when a winter storm roared through San Diego just before Christmas. Lifeguards rescued people stranded in a Mission Valley hotel while other workers pumped more than 1.5 million gallons of water out of Qualcomm stadium in time for the Poinsettia Bowl. Councilwoman Lorie Zapf represents Mission Valley.

“(It was) such a difficult time. Right before Christmas, right in our big heavy retail center,” Zapf said. “And I think our city staff, our emergency crews did a terrific job.”

Mayor Jerry Sanders will hold a news conference later Wednesday to recognize city workers. City officials put the cost of the storm at between $3 million and $6 million. It cost about $20,000 to pump water off the field at Qualcomm. San Diego County said the storm caused it $6 million in damage, half of that to railroad tracks.

The San Diego City Council and County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously ratified separate declarations of local emergencies due to millions of dollars in damage resulting from the rainstorms of the past few weeks.The panels were required to ratify the declarations before funds could be sought from state and federal governments.

Donna Faller, of San Diego's Homeland Security Department, said state and federal emergency officials will arrive in San Diego on Wednesday to evaluate the damage. Any funding that results from the declarations will reimburse the city and county for damages, but residents and private businesses are not eligible unless the damage totals are much larger.

City News Service contributed to this story.

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