San Diego

Fast-Moving But Powerful Storm Brings More Showers to San Diego Wednesday

Another burst of showers reached Southern California overnight Wednesday, soaking San Diego County motorists with heavy downpours during morning commute and dumping more than an inch of rain in just 12 hours.

Within a day, the storm Palomar Mountain with more than three inches of rain, and had dumped more than an inch-and-a-half of rain in the South Bay. Nearly an inch-and-a-quarter fell on Oceanside, the San Diego International Airport, Carlsbad, Fashion Valley and Pount Loma. Visit the NWS site for more rainfall totals

Rain-drenched roadways and low visibility created dangerous driving conditions for morning commuters, according to NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen. 

NBC 7’s Audra Stafford is live along University Avenue near the SR 163 off-ramp where floods made a roadside mess for police and drivers.

Avenida Del Rio in Mission Valley flooded Wednesday evening as it did during last week's storm, but this time no risky drivers needed to be rescued.

Rescue crews also had to assist several drivers who got stuck on Hollister Road near Monument Road in the Tijuana River Valley. At least six people were rescued there Wednesday.

The California Highway Patrol responded to several crashes across the county amid the rain, including a deadly crash on southbound Interstate 5 near the 6th Avenue exit that San Diego police reported involved six vehicles. 

At least three crashes occurred within a few minutes on the same stretch of westbound Interstate 8 before 6 a.m. Wednesday. One car flipped onto its roof near the I-805 junction, prompting a SigAlert as medics tended to the injured driver.

A chain reaction crash on westbound SR-78 near I-15 had one driver, who was struck by three other vehicles urging others to slow down in the rain. No one was injured but cars needed to be towed. 

A Flash Flood Watch was elevated to an advisory amid moderate to heavy downpours at about 11 a.m. Wednesday. The advisory was in effect until 2:30 p.m. The flood watch was lifted at 6 p.m., according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The advisory includes the cities of Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Chula Vista, National City, San Diego, Escondido, El Cajon, San Marcos, La Mesa, Santee, Poway, Julian and Pine Valley.

NWS warned of mud slides and debris flowing from mountains or burn areas during this time. Potential flooding may also occur in roadways surrounding rivers and creeks. 

A homeless encampment under a state Route 163 overpass caused rainwater, mud and debris to build up and eventually gush onto University Avenue in Hillcrest. 

San Diego police could be seen calling out for anyone who may be trapped in the caged area under the bridge. No injuries were immediately reported. 

Neighbors said the road is the only way in and out of their neighborhood. NBC 7’s Lauren Coronado reports.

Quarry Road in Spring Valley was covered in several feet of water after Wednesday morning's showers. Huffstatler Street in Rainbow was also flooded, according to the County Department of Public Works (DPW).

In Escondido, DPW closed what is commonly known as "Country Club Dip" at Harmony Grove Road as a swolen Escondido Creek flooded, which left dozens residents with just one way in and out of their community, one woman, who identified herself only as Angelique told NBC 7. 

The NWS said the area received an inch of rain in less than 12 hours. Bringing a total of 1.47 inches by 7 p.m.

"We're trapped, we're trapped, if there's an emergency, you better hope those crews can get across," Angelique said, adding that there are swift water rescues from the creek every year. 

Earlier this year, a man's body was pulled from the river. The Escondido Fire Department said a man was found stuck in a bush under rapid-moving creek water and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The National Weather Service warns drivers to always turn around if they encounter a flooded roadway. The agency says more deaths occur due to flooding than any other storm hazard.

San Diego rescue crews were called to at least three different flooding incidents during last week's storms. In one instance, a father and son were on their way to see the border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and went around advisory signs when their truck became stuck, according to officials. 

[G] Wintry Weather Makes Its Way to San Diego

In another, tourists said no signs were yet posted when their rental car got stuck. The two men from Poland said they didn't know how deep the water was. Then, six passengers were rescued from a minivan stranded in flooded waters in Mission Valley, at a roadway that frequently floods during the rainy season. 

SeaWorld San Diego shuttered Wednesday due to “significant rain and possible thunderstorms.” The amusement park said it should reopen Thursday.

The rain tapered by the afternoon hours and into the evening. Cloudy skies are expected to linger over the county after the bulk of the rain passes through, and isolated showers are possible through Thursday.

The rest of the week will be dry, but another round of showers is expected this weekend, according to Parveen. 

The system was not expected to bring snow to San Diego's mountain ranges. Only elevations above 7,000 feet would likely see snowfall.

Midcap said Wednesday's storm differs from the three-day storm that drenched the region over the Thanksgiving holiday in that it’s a subtropical system that won’t bring in a lot of cold air.

Winter hasn't hit San Diego until the swells get big, according to any local surfer.

NBC 7’s Consumer Bob said Wednesday’s storm comes at the start of the winter season for local surfers.

“You look out, and you start seeing that power in the water, and that’s what comes when those winter swells start coming in,” he said.

Consumer Bob said ocean swells were hitting head high and above.

“It was good, it was crazy though. The waves were huge, so -- it’s fun though. It’s fun to get out there, but it’s kind of scary when it’s like this,” said surfer Sarah Huddleston.

Huddleston, who said she’s only taken one surfing lesson, told NBC 7 experience didn’t matter, “But we wanted to still come out and try it.”

“We’re finally in winter. We’ve had rain,” he said. “But there’s something unique in San Diego and up and down the coastline in California, and that’s the first sign of winter is when we finally start getting those winter swells.”

Contact Us