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Winter Weather Causes Road Closures In San Diego County

Manchester Ave in Encinitas was closed to traffic after a mudslide, Feb. 28, ...

Photo by Alison St John

Above: Manchester Ave in Encinitas was closed to traffic after a mudslide, Feb. 28, 2016.

Record Storm Causes Flooding, Forces Water Rescues In San Diego County


Dave Seneviratne, battalion chief, City of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department

Alex Tardy, warning coordination meteorologist, National Weather Service


The thoroughly drenched San Diego area began the slow process of drying out Tuesday as the second of two very wet winter storms moved out of the region.

Though the downpours that deluged the county Monday and early Tuesday morning are largely over, many areas remained swamped hours later with runoff and overflow from rain-swollen waterways and overwhelmed drainage systems.

At the height of the showers, the San Diego River peaked at 14.15 feet — its third-highest level on record — and overflowed in Mission Valley, prompting closures of numerous nearby streets and water crossings. A flood warning for the area was slated to remain in effect into the late afternoon.

Minor flooding was expected to continue through Wednesday, according to forecasters.

RELATED: Winter Weather Brings More Rain To San Diego

As of late Tuesday morning, storm-related closures remained in place on various streets, including:

–Airway Road at La Media Road.

–Avenida del Rio between Camino de La Reina and Riverwalk Drive.

–the 400 block of Camino de la Reina; Fashion Valley Road between Hotel Circle North and –Riverwalk Drive.

–Friars Road at Ulric Street, and between Napa Street and Sea World Drive; Mission Center Road between Camino de la Reina and Hazard Center Drive.

–Old Milky Way from San Pasqual Road to San Pasqual Valley Road.

–Roselle Street from Estuary Way to Interstate 5.

–San Diego Mission Road between Caminito Yucatan and Fairmount Avenue.

–Sorrento Valley Road at Carmel Mountain Road.

–Sorrento Valley Road at Vista Sorrento Parkway.

–Ward Road between Camino del Rio North and Rancho Mission Road.

The widespread floodwaters kept rescue crews busy Tuesday morning, necessitating rescues of motorists near Lake Hodges, hotel customers in Mission Valley and a fisherman found clutching a fence in an area where the raging San Diego River spilled its banks.

The storm also led to a typical slew of rain-day woes on local roadways. On Monday, the California Highway Patrol logged 702 collisions. By comparison, the agency generally responds to roughly 140 crashes over an entire day of fair weather.

As of late Monday afternoon, San Diego International Airport had received more rain this season — 10.38 inches since Oct. 1 — than its annual average of 10.33 inches.

The showers also set daily precipitation records Monday at Palomar Mountain, with 5 inches (exceeding the prior Feb. 27 milestone of 2.05, set in 1983); Escondido, with 4.03 inches (exceeding 2.25, set in 1938); Alpine, with 2.43 inches (exceeding 1.1, set in 2003); El Cajon, with 2.29 inches (exceeding 0.9, set in 1983); Campo, with 2.23 inches (exceeding 0.84, set in 1951); Vista, with 1.87 inches (exceeding 0.76, also set in 1983); and Chula Vista, with 1.62 inches (exceeding 0.4, set in 2001).

As of 10:30 this morning, 72-hour precipitation tallies included 9.12 inches at Palomar Observatory; 7.7 on Mount Woodson; 7.32 in Mesa Grande; 6.73 at Henshaw Dam; 6.41 in Pine Hills; 6.39 at Lake Cuyamaca; 5.73 on Otay Mountain; 5.55 in Julian; 5.13 at Ramona Airport; 5.03 in Skyline Ranch; 4.95 in Santa Ysabel; 4.91 in Descanso; 4.73 in Valley Center; 4.69 in Poway; 4.65 at Miramar Lake; 4.57 at Lake Wohlford; 4.39 on Volcan Mountain; 4.09 in Rancho Bernardo; 4.07 in La Mesa; 4.06 in Barona; and 4.01 in Escondido.

Other rainfall totals included 3.99 on Mount Laguna; 3.78 in Lake Murray; 3.76 in Echo Dell; 3.7 in Deer Springs; 3.57 in Kearny Mesa; 3.38 in Oak Grove; 3.24 in Carlsbad; 3.21 in Campo; 3.18 in City Heights; 3.17 at Montgomery Field; 3.13 in Warner Springs; 3.11 in San Ysidro; 3.05 in Pine Valley; 2.92 at Tijuana Estuary; 2.84 in Del Mar; 2.83 in Encinitas; 2.74 in Mission Valley and Solana Beach; 2.72 in Goat Canyon; 2.69 in La Jolla; 2.68 in San Marcos; 2.5 in Linda Vista; 2.4 at Lindbergh Field; 2.36 in Tierra del Sol; 2.34 at Brown Field; 2.27 at SeaWorld; 1.97 in Chula Vista and Point Loma; 1.88 in University Heights; 1.84 in Ranchita; 1.47 in Mission Beach; 0.72 in Borrego Springs; 0.7 in San Onofre; 0.64 in Ocotillo Wells; and 0.53 in Agua Caliente.

The storm also dropped a half-inch of snow on Birch Hill, a 5,800-foot- elevation peak southeast of Palomar Mountain.

Sunny skies and warming temperatures will prevail through the end of the workweek and into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

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