Residents were racing to put up sandbags just as the rains started pouring down on Tuesday.
But many San Diego city fire stations already had run out by this morning and the shortage has caused the city to act.
"I'm just using stretchy trash bags. The local fire stations were out and I didn't want to drive 20 miles, 40 miles round trip to get them," he said.
Other residents decided to buy bags from the hardware store to try in a bid to keep water out of their homes. He filled up with sand from the beach.
"Normally this would be against the law but it's ok to do it now for the storm coming in," said Frank Fernicola who was getting sandbags for himself and his neighbor's condo in Mission Beach.
After hearing that fire stations around San Diego had run out or were close to running out, city officials decided to act.
"We went through 11,000 bags since the last storm. Now we've ordered 37,000 to be distributed to 10 different locations," said Maurice Luque, spokesman for San Diego Fire and Rescue.
Luque had no estimates on how long this next shipment might last, but they are an expense to the cash strapped city and residents may have to provide buy their own in the near future.
"It's not an obligation for us to do it. But it is a courtesy that we've provided for a very long time. In fact this is the biggest run on sandbags we've seen in decades," he said.
Residents will be limited to 10 bags per person.
Meanwhile, CalFire is giving out sandbags and sand at its locations including Valley Center, Ramona, Dulzura, Julian and Alpine.
In Escondido, sand bags are available at Kit Carson Park and Escondido Sand and Gravel.
The following locations should be restocked by early this evening:
Fire Station 15 - 4711 Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach
Fire Station 21 - 750 Grand Avenue in Pacific Beach
Fire Station 28 - 3880 Kearny Villa Road in the Kearny Mesa/Montgomery Field area
Fire Station 29 - 198 West San Ysidro Blvd in San Ysidro
Fire Station 33 - 16966 Bernardo Center Drive in Rancho Bernardo
Fire Station 37 - 11640 Spring Canyon Road in Scripps Ranch
Lifeguard Stations in Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores