Powerful storm brings more flood risk to San Diego, especially North County
A severe storm has already hit Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Orange counties and made its way into San Diego county.
The wet and windy weather is coming down from the north, so local areas likely to get the hardest hit are in North County — like Oceanside and Fallbrook.
“We've not only had a lot of response from our specialized teams like our water rescues, but also our hand crews and our fire engines just helping with preparedness for the public. Sandbagging, helping people with flooding situations,” said San Diego County Fire Protection District Fire Captain Mark Bales.
He said Two Cal Fire teams — including one in Jamul and another at San Diego Del Dios Fire Station 77 — are ready for swift water rescues.
“The majority of our target hazards here are any of our flood control channels,” Bales said.
The Fire Captain said the last few weeks have been busy across the county, and they’re on high alert.
“Any of our city areas like Escondido that has their large flood control channel that comes from the foothills all the way down through Harmony Grove and Elfin Forest — that's a big target hazard, we've had rescues there in the past,” he said.
The flood-prone State Route 78 experienced storm-related issues that caused some closures and detours on Monday. The incoming heavier rains could make travel difficult on other local freeways as well.
“In particular for (SR) 78, one of the biggest problems is there's a creek that runs parallel to the freeway,” said Caltrans District 11 Chief Deputy Karen Jewel. “When that creek raised up its water level from all the rains, our drain (flows) into that creek and that water just backed up.”
Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Southern California counties due to the storm, including San Diego.
Flood risk is slight to moderate for much of the county, which can be particularly dangerous in places with low-water crossings.
The San Diego County advises people to not drive through flooded roadways. They say drivers should turn around and find an alternative route in order to remain safe.
The National Weather service said San Diego County will see the highest rain and flooding impacts Monday night into Tuesday morning.