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City Council ratifies storm emergency declaration, Mayor Gloria speaks to FEMA

The San Diego City Council Tuesday ratified Mayor Todd Gloria's declaration of emergency following last week's storm and significant flooding as Gloria met with a representative from FEMA.

Dozens of San Diego residents gave emotional testimony at the council meeting, ranging from anger claiming lack of action to prevent flooding — largely in less affluent, Southeast San Diego neighborhoods such as Southcrest, Encanto and Mountain View — and pleas for help from city, county, state and federal sources.

Several residents spoke about community members wading, swimming and diving in dangerous flood waters to clear storm drain obstructions. City emergency crews rescued hundreds of people from flooded cars and homes in Southcrest, as well as from fast-moving waters in Mission Valley.


The council ratified the emergency resolution 7-0 with the intent of making it easier to receive disaster relief.

The county encouraged the use of sandbags due to the possibility of another storm heading to the San Diego region. Showers are expected to begin Wednesday night through Friday, with a chance of heavy rain hitting Thursday.

County officials advised the public to call ahead and check sandbag availability. Some stations may have a limited supply. A complete list of sand and sandbag locations can be found at us/recovery/sandbags.html or

Gloria on Monday spoke by phone with FEMA Region 9 Administrator Bob Fenton, where he "underscored the immense pain San Diegans are living through and his commitment to being their voice as we clean up and rebuild," according to a statement from the mayor's office.

The FEMA Region 9 team and California Office of Emergency Services personnel in San Diego County, surveying and inspecting the region's initial damage estimates.


"Mayor Gloria and Administrator Fenton promised to stay in close contact as this process moves forward," according to the mayor's office. "Mayor Gloria will continue to advocate for the greatest possible level of resources to be approved as swiftly as possible through Cal OES and FEMA."

More than 1,443 tons of mud, debris and trash have been removed from areas impacted around the county by flooding, including Southcrest, Shelltown, Mountain View, Encanto and others, according to San Diego city officials.

Through the weekend, the city's stormwater crews cleared channels along 38th and Alpha streets in Southcrest, Beta and Birch streets and between Akins and Imperial avenues in Encanto.

San Diego County and Cal Fire are offering free sandbags to residents and businesses in unincorporated areas for flood protection.

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