After an evening of powerful rains, lightning and thunder, San Diego County residents were cleaning up Wednesday from flooding and downed trees.
Storm runoff flooded an intersection in Lemon Grove, trapping some vehicles in more than a foot of water, according to Heartland Fire officials. CHP officers shut down the off-ramp from eastbound State Route 94 at Federal Boulevard and Mallard Street.
"It was scary. The water was taking us away. We were floating," one driver told NBC 7.
Another driver said she just held on and prayed as the water quickly rose around her vehicle.
Most of the drivers were able to get out of the area on their own but people in four different cars found themselves stranded and needed firefighters to rescue them.
Firefighters say they did the right thing by staying in their vehicles because as the water rose to about 13 inches deep - that's deep and moving fast enough to sweep the legs out from underneath someone and lead to a scarier situation.
The owner of Giant Pizza King on Federal Boulevard saw his business flood in just minutes.
In North Park, a retaining wall failed sending mud and water into an apartment complex on 32nd Street.
Tenant Israel Espinoza and his wife heard a crash just after 8 p.m.
It wasn't until rain and waste water started pouring into the apartments below that they realized the neighbor's retaining wall collapsed.
The water damned up behind the wall but the pressure became too much to hold back.
Four apartments on the first floor flooded. Residents living in six units above were also evacuated because San Diego Gas & Electric shut off the gas and electric.
In Balboa Park, owners of two vehicles stuck in water say they saw a flash flood come through the golf course.
In La Mesa the power went out at a Costco store filled with shoppers. One NBC 7 viewer said the store went dark around 7:30 p.m. and the power outage lasted about ten minutes, but it didn't stop shoppers. He said they carried on as normal.
In National City, construction crews at USA Gasoline pumped all the water out of the gas tank. The tanks have sensors that detect water and once they detect water they automatically shut off. Now, they are waiting for the manager to give the all clear to get the tanks up and running now that the water is gone.
Phone systems at several San Diego schools were not operating Wednesday due to the storm, according to the San Diego Unified School District. Parents of students at Patrick Henry and Clairemont high schools may notice the problem as well as those attending Pacific Beach Middle School and Hearst Elementary, officials said.
Due to storm runoff, the public should avoid swimming, surfing and diving in the ocean or Mission Bay and San Diego Bay for 72 hours following rain, according to county health officials.