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Tropical Storm Hilary soaks San Diego

 August 21, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, August 21st.


The worst of the tropical storm has passed through the county. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


You may experience delays today, if you are driving on Interstate 8 between San Diego and Imperial counties.

There was a rock slide on the interstate near ink-o-pah yesterday afternoon.

It happened as the tropical storm brought rain and wind to the region.


The storm has also postponed the first day of school for the San Diego Unified School District.

Superintendent Lamont Jackson says today will be a work day for teachers and staff, to make sure campuses are ready to open tomorrow.

“We need some time to assess any flooding, any downed trees. Any of the leaks that may occur from so much rain coming down in such a short

period of time.”

Most of the other school districts in the county have already begun classes for the fall…and expect to be back in session, this morning.


Tijuana's little league all star baseball team, representing Mexico, crushed Canada yesterday 10 to 1 in the little league world series in south Williamsport Pennsylvania.

The team will face their next opponent tomorrow at 10am.

The Tijuana little leaguers haven’t made the world series since 2013.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


San Diego got soaked on Sunday as tropical storm Hilary raced through the county.

KPBS environment Reporter Erik Anderson says the storm had wind speeds over 100 mile per hour at its peak, but the system was significantly weaker when it arrived in San Diego.

Tropical Storm Hilary brought rain and blustery conditions as the swirling mass of clouds rolled over San Diego County.  National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Tardy says it was only the second time in the last 100 years that something like this happened. TARDY “We don’t get a system like this, no matter how warm the ocean is, no matter how much is going on with El Nino or not.  We haven’t got a tropical storm to come right at us like this.  I mean 1939 is a long time ago.  And we don’t even know exactly where that hit.” The storm arrived mid-day on Sunday and most people heeded warnings to hunker down.  There were cars on the freeway, but it wasn’t weekday rush hour and most people were taking their time.  Tardy says it also helped that the storm moved through the region pretty quickly. TARDY  “You don’t want any system no matter how weakened it is, with tropical origins, a warm core system to be slow moving.  It just doubles your wind and rain, ah, literally.” But when the front edge of the tropical disturbance first touched the county just after 2 p-m, the rain got heavy and the wind picked up near the spirit of Imperial Beach statue where Palm Avenue meets the Ocean. Mari Sala came to the Imperial Beach coastline to see the storm firsthand. “When I first started to hear about it I thought people were kind of like, going a little bit crazy, for maybe something that might not be too crazy.  I hadn’t really heard of a hurricane coming around San Diego, especially in San Diego.  Like, that’s why you live in San Diego so that none of that stuff happens.” It only took a couple of minutes for Sala and her family to be completely soaked.  A small umbrella offered little help. But that didn’t diminish the excitement as the waves pounded the coast.  Marco Vasquez was visiting from Huntington Park California.  He was walking along the beach completely drenched with shoes in hand. Marcos Vasquez “Yeah….ha ha ha. I’m enjoying myself so…I don’t see it as much as a storm, but it’s nice.  Ha ha ha.” Water wasn’t only falling from the sky here.  It was also coming out of the ground.  City crews have installed pumps to help clear standing water off nearby roads.   At one point the stormwater pumps created a geyser on the beach more than six feet high.  That was just the kind of show local Dominic Perez was hoping to see. He was happy to trade dry clothes for a peek at the unusual. “See what’s going on.  See how it looks. I know no one else is really going to be out here so…how many times do you get to see a hurricane just storm, flow over everything you know. It was business as usual at Imperial Beach’s Ye Olde Plank Inn bar.  Except for some water collecting near a side door.  The storm didn’t seem to be noticed by the Sunday crowd.  Jeri from Imperial Beach was enjoying a cool beverage and wondering what all the fuss was about. “Well being from the Midwest. This is really nothing.  This is just a typical rainy day.  Nothing stops.  Nothing is closed up, Nothing is boarded up.  This is very mild to what I’m used to.” And if you’re wondering, her Midwest home is Oklahoma, where she says the weather changes almost every hour. Erik Anderson KPBS News.


The average mortgage rate in the U-S is the highest it’s been in more than 20 years.

Producer Emilyn Mohebbi breaks down what that means for buyers and what’s to come.

EM: Mortgage rates reached 7-point-1-percent late last week. The last time rates were that high was April 2002. SDSU Marketing Professor Miro Copic says that means that someone who puts down a 20-percent down payment and has a half a million dollar loan would pay about 560-thousand-dollars in interest over 30 years. That’s about 270-thousand-dollars more, compared to 20-21. But he told KPBS, the high rates make sense in today’s economy. “If you go from 1972 to 2007, the average American mortgage ranged from about 6%-16%, and so this is a very typical rate for the type of economy that we have.” EM: Copic says there’s very little movement going on in the real estate market right now because of the high interest rates. He says we’re not going to see mortgage rates decline drastically over the next 18 to 24 months. Some economists say it could even go as high as 8-percent. Emilyn Mohebbi, KPBS News.


Coming up.... We hear from a poet who reflects on her family’s experiences as refugees in a new poetry collection. We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


A portion of the original Berlin Wall has a new permanent home in.... Tijuana.

KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis spoke with one of the people responsible for bringing it there.

 On a hill overlooking the pacific ocean. just a few feet from the u.s.-mexico border wall. a 3-ton slab of the original berlin wall has found a new home. berlin “we didn’t want our wall to be behind a specific barrier whether that barrier be a physical one or not a physical one like cost involved to be able to see it.” that’s marcos cline-marquez. he’s an la-based television producer who helped bring the section of the berlin wall to tijuana. he says it’s important for people to see it. walk up to it. touch it. grab it. by placing it along the border, he hopes to send a positive message to tijuana’s migrant population. berlin “a sign of telling the people who are looking for a better life, who have struggled to be here that there are groups of people that are paying attention to this and talking about getting rid of barriers. cline-marquez isn’t just talking about physical barriers. he also criticizes u.s. immigration policy that limits legal migration – particularly for migrant farmworkers. gustavo solis, kpbs news.


Migration can be a very emotional experience.

That’s the case for many people in the Vietnamese diaspora, whose lives were disrupted by war.

Poet Phuong T. Vuong reflects on refugee migration from Vietnam, and its aftermath, in a poetry collection titled “A Plucked Zither.”

Phuong is also a P-h-D candidate at UC-SD, where she studies Asian American feminism.

She spoke to my colleague Jade Hindmon about the collection, and about her journey as a poet.

Let’s start with your background. You and your family came here from Vietnam as immigrants and refugees… Could you tell us more about that?

Did that affect your sense of identity and belonging growing up?

When did you first get into writing poetry?

I’m curious, to what extent do you draw from your own experiences when you write? (One piece of common writing advice is “Write what you know.”)

Let’s talk about “A Plucked Zither”… What inspired the title?

You actually prepared one of your poems to read for us today, right? 

How about language? Vietnamese words and phrases are interwoven through your poems. 

What is your relationship to language and the use of Vietnamese in your poetry?

TAG: That was poet Phuong T. Vuong, speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host, Jade Hindmon.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Monday.

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San Diego got soaked on Sunday as Tropical Storm Hilary raced through the county. In other news, the average mortgage rate in the United States is the highest it’s been in more than 20 years. Plus, we hear from a poet whose work reflects on the experience of refugee migration from Vietnam.