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Storm Could Cause Flooding In San Diego County

Rain from a winter storm on a car windshield in San Diego, Jan. 14, 2019.
KPBS Staff
Rain from a winter storm on a car windshield in San Diego, Jan. 14, 2019.
Storm Could Cause Flooding In San Diego County
GUEST: Alex Tardy, meteorologist, National Weather Service Subscribe to the Midday Edition podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcatcher.

UPDATE: 11:45 a.m., Jan. 14, 2019

San Diego Fire-Rescue is deploying its Swift Water Rescue Team to areas that commonly flood during heavy rain in San Diego, including Mission Valley and Monument Road near the border, as a precaution.

The department is also asking that drivers not drive through standing water or around barricades. If they are caught in an area that starts to flood, they should stay in their vehicle and call for help, or climb to the hood or roof of the vehicle if it begins to flood, a department spokeswoman said.

Original story:

The third storm system of the year is expected to bring heavy rainfall and snow Monday to San Diego County, along with the potential for flash flooding.

The inclement weather prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood watch for coastal areas, the mountains and the valleys from Monday afternoon through Monday evening.

Coastal and inland-valley areas could get anywhere from a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch, while the mountains will receive between three-quarters of an inch and 1 inch of rainfall, according to the NWS. Desert areas will get between a quarter-inch and a half-inch of rain.

Snow levels will drop to around 5,000 feet, with areas between 5,000 and 6,000 feet expected to see between 1 and 5 inches of snow, forecasters said.

The heaviest rainfall is expected to hit the region Monday afternoon, with rainfall rates exceeding a half-inch per hour possible primarily in areas near the coast, meteorologists said.

Forecasters warned that the heavy rainfall could cause street flooding as well as minor flooding of the San Diego River at Fashion Valley.

The storm cell could weaken on Tuesday but regain strength on Wednesday and Thursday, potentially bringing another round of heavy rainfall, forecasters said.

Corrected:
Correction: This story originally said the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning. It has issued a less severe flash flood watch.