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Heavy Rain Brings Road Closures, Flooding To San Diego County

Traffic signs placed on flooded roads in Mission Valley during a winter storm...

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: Traffic signs placed on flooded roads in Mission Valley during a winter storm, Feb. 14, 2019.

GUEST: Alex Tardy, meteorologist, National Weather Service

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Heavy rainfall and driving winds lashed the San Diego area today, prompting widespread flooding, fallen trees, mudslides and other storm-related hazards across the soaked region.

The intensity of the downpours prompted the National Weather Service issued a countywide flash-flood watch effective through this evening. A wind advisory, meanwhile, will remain in effect in the local mountains until 4 a.m. Saturday.

Rainfall rates were expected to reach 0.5 to 1 inch per hour everywhere except desert areas during the peak of the storm, which was expected to last into the mid-afternoon, and could be higher than that during isolated thunderstorms, meteorologist Miguel Miller said.

As the rains intensified, the San Diego County Office of Education announced that Vallecitos Elementary School in Rainbow would be closed for the day.

Additionally, campuses in the Pine Valley-area Mountain Empire Unified School District were slated to close an hour early due to flash flooding, and students at Santa Margarita and Stuart Mesa elementary schools on the grounds of Camp Pendleton were to be let out prior to their usual end of classes due to road closures and potential flooding.

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Traffic signs placed on flooded roads in Mission Valley during a winter storm, Feb. 14, 2019.

Moderately severe overflows along the San Diego River were expected until early Friday in the area of Fashion Valley and Mission Valley malls, as well as on the Santa Margarita River in the North County.

Among the highest two-day precipitation totals at midday were 9.1 inches in the Palomar area; 8.48 at Birch Hill; 7.72 in Horsethief Canyon, north of Barrett Lake; 6.67 at Henshaw Dam; 5.57 in Oak Grove; 5.37 at Red Mountain; 5.3 at Rainbow Camp; 5.18 in Julian; 5.08 in Pine Hills; 5.06 at Lake Cuyamaca; 5.01 on Volcan Mountain; 4.8 in Pine Hills; 4.71 in Mesa Grande; 4.44 in Fallbrook; 4.17 in Santa Ysabel; 4.1 on Mount Laguna; 4.05 in Skyline Ranch; and 4.04 in Warner Springs.

Other 48-hour moisture tallies included 3.91 inches in Echo Dell; 3.86 in Descanso; 3.8 in Valley Center; 3.77 in Pine Valley; 3.66 in Rincon Springs; 3.63 in Ranchita; 3.31 on Mount Woodson; 3.3 in Bonsall; 2.95 at Ramona Airport; 2.92 in San Diego Country Estates; 2.89 in Oceanside; 2.84 in Alpine and San Onofre; 2.83 in Barona; 2.72 in San Felipe; 2.66 on Otay Mountain; 2.55 in Campo; 2.45 in Harbison Canyon; 2.42 in Flinn Springs; 2.39 in Escondido; 2.19 in Santee; 2.08 in Poway; 2.03 in Rancho Bernardo; 1.9 in Granite Hills; 1.86 in Carlsbad; 1.72 in La Jolla; 1.64 in Encinitas; 1.56 in El Cajon, Lakeside and La Mesa; 1.49 in Kearny Mesa; 1.36 in Lemon Grove; 1.28 in Mission Valley; 1.25 in Borrego Springs; 1.24 in Solana Beach; 0.97 in Del Mar; 0.91 in San Ysidro; 0.88 in Chula Vista; 0.86 in Agua Caliente; 0.81 at Lindbergh Field; and 0.44 in Ocotillo Wells.

Snow levels will likely drop to around 6,000 feet tonight, Miller said.

South-to-southwest winds of 25 to 35 mph, with gusts reaching 55 mph, were expected to continue through this evening.

As of early afternoon, street flooding and other storm-related problems were reported on:

— Airway Road at La Media Road, Otay Mesa;

— The 5700 block of Camino del Rey, Bonsall;

— Camino del Rio between Camino de la Siesta and Avenida del Rio, Mission Valley;

— Carroll Canyon Road east of Mino Drive, Sorrento Valley;

— Carmel Mountain Road/Sorrento Valley Road;

— Coronado Avenue between Cable Street and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Ocean Beach (fallen tree on a house);

— Discovery Street/San Pablo Drive, San Marcos;

— Country Club Drive/Harmony Grove Road, Elfin Forest;

— The 12500 block of Highland Valley Road, Rancho Bernardo;

— Market Street/54th Street, Emerald Hills (mud and other debris);

— The 3600, 3700 and 3800 blocks of Midway Drive, Midway district;

— Mission Road south of Murray Canyon Road, Mission Valley;

— Outer Road near Coronado Avenue, Otay Mesa;

— Pala Temecula Road/Sycamore Lane, Pala;

— The 11200 block of Roselle Street, Torrey Hills;

— San Diego Mission Road between Fairmount Avenue and Rancho Mission Road, Grantville;

— San Diego River crossings near Fashion Valley mall, Mission Valley;

— 10500 block of Rookwood Drive, Scripps Ranch (fallen 100-foot eucalyptus tree);

— The 2000 block of Saturn Boulevard, San Ysidro;

— Sefton Field at Hotel Circle Place. Mission Valley;

— The 600 block of Silver Gate Avenue, Point Loma (sinkhole);

— The 10100 block of Sorrento Valley Road (mudslide); and

— Upas Street between Texas and Louisiana streets, North Park.

The storm will die down by this evening, but there will be chances of scattered, milder showers from Friday evening through Monday afternoon, Miller said.


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