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San Diego Rainstorms Bring Threat Of Flash Floods

In this National Weather Service map updated Feb. 27, 2014, areas in green indicate regions at risk of flash flooding.
National Weather Service
In this National Weather Service map updated Feb. 27, 2014, areas in green indicate regions at risk of flash flooding.

A powerful Pacific storm is expected to pound San Diego County with heavy rain and strong winds starting late Thursday night.

The National Weather Service issued several advisories for the region, saying up to 3 inches of rainfall in coastal and valley areas, 3 to 5 inches in the mountains and up to an inch in the deserts would pose a strong threat of flash flooding and other road hazards through much of the weekend.

A flash flood watch for coastal, valley and mountain areas is scheduled from late Thursday night to Saturday afternoon.


"The greatest threat for flash flooding will be over mountains and over the recent burn areas where debris flows are possible,'' an NWS advisory said.

Where To Pick Up Sandbags

Residents must bring their own shovel to pick up free sandbags from one of the following locations:

• Cal Fire Station 73: 28205 North Lake Wohlford Road, Valley Center

• Pauma Valley-Rincon, Cal Fire Station 70: 16971 Highway 76, Valley Center

• Cal Fire Station 50: 1587 Highway 78, Julian

• Alpine Fire Protection District, Station 17: 1364 Tavern Road, Alpine (Bags ONLY)

• Ramona Station: 3410 Dye Road, Ramona, CA

• North County Fire Protection District, Station 4: 4375 Pala Mesa Drive, Fallbrook

• Cal Fire Station 30: 17304 Highway 94, Dulzura

• Bonita/Sunnyside Fire Department: 4900 Bonita Road, Bonita

• Kit Carson Park: 3333 Bear Valley Parkway, Escondido

Source: County News Center

MORE: Cleveland National Forest Roads Closed Due To San Diego Rainstorm

The agency also said the low water crossings of the San Diego River in Mission Valley will be particularly susceptible to flooding. Motorists were strongly urged to not attempt to drive through flooded areas.

The weather service issued a high wind watch for mountain and desert areas from late Thursday night to Saturday evening, saying sustained south-to-southwest winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts of up to 60 mph are likely.

A slightly less serious wind advisory for coastal and valley areas is scheduled from 4 a.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday. According to the weather service, coastal and valley areas will likely see sustained south-to-southwest winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph.


"Gusty winds will make driving difficult, especially for motorists of high profile vehicles,'' an NWS advisory said. "Watch for broken tree limbs and other debris.''

The storm is also likely to generate large, rough surf and strong rip currents along local beaches. The weather service scheduled a beach hazards statement from late Thursday night to Sunday afternoon, saying 8 to 12 foot surf with sets to 15 feet is possible by Saturday afternoon and evening.

Also, a gale watch for mariners off the coast of San Diego County will be in effect from late Thursday night to late Friday night. A gale watch is issued when the risk of gale-force winds of 34 to 47 knots has significantly increased.

In preparation for the storm, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department announced it has a limited number of sandbags available to residents at fire stations in Ocean Beach, the Sports Arena area, Pacific Beach, Kearny Mesa, San Ysidro, Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Tierrasanta, Rancho Penasquitos, Santaluz and Pacific Highlands. Bags also are available from lifeguard stations in Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores and Pacific Beach.

Residents can receive up to 10 bags at a time and are free to fill them with sand from area beaches.