San Diego prepares for heavy storm, residents urged to take precautions
With a strong storm approaching, San Diego's Stormwater Department began placing temporary "no parking" signs Monday in low-lying or flood-risk areas, cleaning areas with a history of debris buildup, street sweeping to reduce trash and pollutants from entering waterways and monitoring more than 46,000 storm drains citywide.
"Crews are working hard to make sure we are as prepared as possible ahead of the coming storm by proactively inspecting pump stations and protecting areas vulnerable to flooding," said Kris McFadden, director of the city's stormwater department. "We're asking San Diegans to `Think Blue' and do their part to help prevent rainfall from carrying pollution into our local waterways and the ocean.
"Taking a couple steps today will ensure we have clean water and clean beaches for all of us tomorrow," he said.
According to the city, residents can prepare for the rain and help reduce the risk of flooding near their homes and properties by taking a few simple steps:
- Sweep and pick up trash, leaves, grass clippings and other debris that collect around storm drains and curb gutters near your home;
- Keep the lid securely closed on trash and recycle bins when placing them out on the street for collection. Place each bin approximately two to three feet away from the curb so as not to impede the stormwater flowing on the street;
- Proactively turn off irrigation to save water and minimize runoff;
- Know the safest routes to and from your home or property should flooding occur;
- Slow down and do not drive, ride or walk through floodwaters; and
- Do not open or lift manhole covers in the event of street flooding.
Health officials advise the public not to swim or surf in ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers after significant rainfall due to a possible increase in bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash and other public health hazards.
During the rains, multiple crews from San Diego's Storm Patrol will be actively monitoring areas throughout the city and responding to incidents, such as temporary flooding and downed trees or branches.
Residents can report events, such as flooding or downed trees, by using the Get It Done application or by calling (619) 527-7500. If it is a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
Ahead of the storm, local residents were able to fill up free sandbags at multiple unincorporated areas across the county.
Dan Weber was loading up on sandbags at the Bonita-Sunnyside Fire Station to help out the owner of Spring Valley Inn prepare for the storm.
“The rain goes down the hill and then it goes in the backdoor," he said. "So we are going to put the sandbags there so it doesn't go through the backdoor and mess the carpet up, because he got brand new carpet put in his place.”
Visit the county's website for the locations where you can pick up free sandbags as well as sand.
Sandbags are also available in limited supply and can be picked up at nine recreation centers centrally located in each city council district. Residents with identification showing proof of residency can receive up to 10 empty sandbags.
As the sandbags are not pre-filled, the city encouraged residents to also plan to buy sand at local hardware stores, landscape suppliers or wherever else sand can be purchased. Sandbags are available from Monday through Friday from 1 to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. at:
- Standley Recreation Center, 3585 Governor Drive;
- Robb Athletic Field, 2525 Bacon St.;
- Golden Hill Recreation Center, 2600 Golf Course Drive;
- Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 6401 Skyline Drive;
- Scripps Ranch Recreation Center, 11454 Blue Cypress Drive;
- North Clairemont Recreation Center, 4421 Bannock Ave.;
- Allied Gardens Recreation Center, 5155 Greenbrier Ave.;
- San Ysidro Community Activity Center, 179 Diza Road; and
- City Heights Recreation Center, 4380 Landis St.