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1st Major Fall Storm Lingers After Dumping 4+ Inches of Rain on San Diego County

Bursts of heavy downpours were expected to continue through Thursday afternoon

A Flash Flood Advisory expired overnight but the remnants of Southern California's first major storm of the fall season were expected to bring several more rounds of showers Thursday.

Thunderstorms developed over ocean waters and began approaching the coast by mid-morning.

The National Weather Service issued a Marine Weather Statement for the waters off Orange and San Diego county beaches due to the scattered showers, which had the potential to produce lightning and heavy rain, erratic winds, hail and possibly waterspouts through about 4 p.m.  

Before noon, downpours were reported in Torrey Pines, Del Mar and La Jolla and were expected to move inland.  

NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen said the storm was expected to linger through the evening before the system dries out for a clear weekend.

The storm brought the first significant rainfall San Diego County has seen in months. More than four inches of rain in some parts of the county and some mountain snow were already recorded by 4 a.m. Thursday. 

Clouds from the storm were expected to linger Friday but little, if any, rain was expected. Another storm system is expected to move into Southern California next week, just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Parveen said. 

During its three-day stay over San Diego County, the storm flooded roadways and homes, downed trees and power lines and created hazards on roadways.

A Vista family's home flooded with water rushing into their home at dinnertime. They were gathered at the table when water began rushing in as if it was coming from "an open hydrant." 

NBC 7

A parking structure on the University of California, San Diego’s campus became flooding following the downpours. 

Hopkins Parking Structure had inches of water pool at the bottom floor of the building. Crews could be seen pumping out the water early Thursday. The water did not damage the cars. 

A father and son visiting San Diego became trapped on a flooded road near San Ysidro on Thursday. The pair said it was a "dumb move" to drive into the water but that it didn't look that deep. A swift water rescue crew was called to get them to safety

At least one vehicle became stuck on a flooded Otay Mesa roadway Wednesday morning. The two men from Poland needed help from firefighters to get out of the stalled Dodge Charger. 

Flooding also shut down city streets like Quarry Road between State Route 125 and Lakeview Road in Spring Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Country Club Drive in San Marcos was clsoed Tuesday evening and flooding also closed down the intersection of Discovery Street and Via Vera Cruz.

Several spinouts were reported on San Diego's slick roadways Wednesday morning. NBC 7 Traffic Anchor Ashley Matthews said at one point, California Highway Patrol officers conducted a traffic break on Interstate 15 in Miramar to slow down drivers.

A big rig jackknifed on a wet I-15 near Adams Avenue Wednesday evening. The crash caused at least 25 gallons of diesel fuel to spill into the roadway.

A flash flood watch was in effect until 1 a.m. Thursday and was twice elevated to a flash flood advisory as sudden bursts of heavy rain had the potential to flow quickly down roadways and cause problems.

Thunderstorms affected the coast and mountain areas. At least two lightning strikes hit trees in Ramona, igniting one in flames and causing a portion of the second to topple onto a home.

The NWS also issued a Special Marine Warning for the San Diego coast from San Onofre to the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday. The warning meant severe thunderstorms were present capable of producing "waterspouts" strong enough to damage and even overturn boats.

Elephants at the San Diego Safari Park seemed to enjoy the natural creation of muddy rain created by Wednesday's downpour.

The storm moved into San Diego County Tuesday afternoon and was a drastic shift from San Diego's hot and dry conditions on Sunday, which prompted a Red Flag Warning for the county.  

The rainfall came after the National Drought Mitigation Center Thursday designated much of California, including San Diego and Imperial Counties, as "abnormally dry" to "moderate drought" in some areas, for the first time since early 2019.

San Diego has not seen any rain for months, but this coming rainfall probably will not reverse the beginning signs of drought. Two inches of rain would be needed to bring San Diego out of its rain deficit, NBC 7 reported Friday.

For the latest rainfall totals from the National Weather Service, visit here

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