Emergency Personnel Prepare For Flooding, Mountain Snow
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Emergency Personnel Brace For Flooding, Mountain Snow
Sara Agahi, flood control manager, San Diego County
Capt. Joe Amador, spokesman, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department
San Diego-area firefighters and lifeguards are bracing for heavy rain, flooding and mountain snow as a series of Pacific storms begin to sweep through the region.
In the city of San Diego, lifeguards and firefighters plan to closely monitor areas historically prone to flooding, such as along the San Diego River and in the Tijuana River Valley, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
Members of the San Diego Urban Area All-Hazards Incident Management Team will be on hand for emergency support, as will a 25-member Lifeguard Swiftwater Rescue Team, which is equipped to deal with a wide range of inland water rescue situations, San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy said.
"All of our on- and off-duty lifeguard and firefighter resources have been placed on heightened alert, including our fire-rescue helicopters and crews which provide 24/7 hoist rescue emergency response. The aircraft are staffed and available to respond to swiftwater rescues within the city and throughout the county at night," Fennessy said.
Fire officials urged San Diegans to avoid flood prone areas, if possible, and stay out of flooded areas and those where water is flowing. San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Capt. Joe Amador also advised to slow down and keep distance in front of you when driving. More safety tips can be found on the department's website.
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Cal Fire personnel are also gearing up for anticipated weather-related incidents. Staffed around San Diego County will be two swiftwater rescue teams, a helicopter with hoisting capabilities and hand crews for "flood fighting operations," Cal Fire Capt. Isaac Sanchez said.
Fire engines with 4-wheel drive will also be used in mountain areas that traditionally get heavy snow during winter storms, including Palomar Mountain, Pine Valley and Mount Laguna, Sanchez said.
San Diego County officials are closely monitoring low lying areas in the unincorporated areas of the region.
“There are roadways in the unincorporated county that we know tend to flood even in small amounts of rain. We have road crews that are out monitoring and inspecting these areas, removing debris from the road. We have 13 road crews that started 24-hour coverage of the road last night,” said Sara Agahi, manager of the county’s flood control district.
Aghai said the county also uses a network of sensors and several web cameras to monitor water levels.
The public can check conditions at low water crossings on the county’s website.
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