Major Cleanup in Mission Valley

By Michelle Wayland and Rory Devine
|  Thursday, Dec 23, 2010  |  Updated 8:57 PM PDT
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It's the worst flooding <a title=San Diego has seen in 20 years. Major cleanup was underway in Mission Valley on Thursday after the San Diego River flooded and caused widespread problems." />

It's the worst flooding San Diego has seen in 20 years. Major cleanup was underway in Mission Valley on Thursday after the San Diego River flooded and caused widespread problems.

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Photos and Videos

Aerial Tour of Mission Valley Flooding

A look from above.

Flooding Traps 51 in Hotel

A pregnant woman was one of the first to be rescued.
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It's the worst flooding San Diego has seen in 20 years. Major cleanup was underway in Mission Valley on Thursday after the San Diego River flooded and caused widespread problems.

Water was being pumped out of the Premier Inn as hotel employees packed up their guest’s belongings for them. The guests were staying at a different hotel after being rescued from the flooded hotel on Wednesday.

Lifeguards got the call at 10:30 a.m., but Hotel Circle Place was already under water and guests at the Premier Inn had gathered for safety on the second floor balcony.

“I've never seen nothing like this before,” said guest Davion Niter. "I was like terrified, like, 'Oh, God, I hope it don't come to me’."

47 guests were watching anxiously as the Swift Water Rescue Team set up safety lines for its inflatable rafts. They cheered as pregnant Danielle Broadnex was taken across the flooded street to safety. Her 7-year-old son, Sebastian, was rescued shortly afterwards.

One by one, crews plucked the guests from the hotel.

On Thursday, workers were also cleaning out the parking lot at the Handlery Hotel that was evacuated Wednesday when the waters started seeping into the lobby and the hotel lost power.

One worker said the flooding was the worst he had ever seen in Mission Valley.

“It was pretty bad. I was here in 79 when the last big one was and this was worse,” said Bruce Billings.

One of the most urgent cleanup jobs happened at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Poinsettia Bowl's executive director says the game between Navy and San Diego State will go on as scheduled Thursday night -- even though part of the field was under water some 24 hours before kickoff.

The stadium's grounds crew is working around the clock to pump out the water from several days of heavy rain. A large portion of the parking lot has flooded as well, which could cause problems for the expected crowd of 51,000.

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