How to Prevent Potential El Nino Flooding

As residents dry out their homes after this week's rains, experts share tips on flood prevention

After a week of flooded streets, soggy yards and grey skies, San Diego homeowners are using Friday’s brief reprieve from the rain to prepare for the next downpour expected this weekend.

Flood repair experts said preventing water from coming into your home can run into the hundreds of dollars, but flood restoration can cost you thousands.

Tom Frederic with San Diego Flood Restoration offered a few tips to keep rainwater out of your house: close sliding doors, check rain gutters and make sure floor drains on balconies, patios and even pool areas are clear.

“You got to get someone at your house who's a professional, be it a plumber, be it a landscaper, to check all your lines, all your rain gutters, make sure they're clear, and be vigilant,” said Frederic.

San Diego Flood Restoration and other businesses have been slammed this week with cleanup requests. Fredric said in one hour alone, his company got eight calls from flooded properties.

“When the rains are coming down, the phones go crazy,” said Brian Salinas with Xtreme Drainworks. “You cannot find a company to respond to your emergency right away. That's why we can't say it enough: get ahead of the rains, get ahead of the big El Nino before it is too late.”

The flooding is most often caused by residents’ storm drains going unchecked for years or city drains becoming clogged because the storms had too much rain and debris to handle at once, according to the experts.

“Because they drain right now doesn't mean that by the next rain they are not going to be clogged,” said Salinas. “You have leaves, rocks; you have dirt, all kinds of debris that washes into them during these rains.”

Salinas and Fredric explained there are many levels of concern once the flooding starts because rainwater often mixes with raw sewage. Cleanup is not just soaking up water; it requires major disinfection as well.

At the very least, they said, get sand bags set up in case you need them to keep water from your home.

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