Councilman Wants State of Emergency Ahead of El Nino

With an El Nino on the way, the city of San Diego is making efforts to prepare for the forecasted storms. However, one city official says the city isn’t ready for what’s to come.

City Councilman David Alvarez says he wants to call a state of emergency in anticipation of the El Nino storms.

Alvarez told the council the city needs to know there are certain channels that need work to prevent flooding and other damages that the storms could bring. Tuesday’s storm gave the city an idea of what to expect in the coming months.

Residents all over the city woke up Wednesday morning to the clean-up the heavy rain left behind. Clogged storm drains, roadways flooding and downed trees are just a few of the things Alvarez wants to be ready for.

Wednesday, he called for preventative maintenance activity in every storm drain and channel immediately. Alvarez pointed out the top ten worst channels in San Diego. They range from San Ysidro to Little Italy to College Area.

On the other hand, Bill Harris of the Storm Water Department says the city is ready to take on El Nino.

Harris says with all the thunder, lightning and flooding that last night’s storm brought, the preventative work the city’s been doing proved it worked. He says the recent storm was nothing compared to what the county saw in July. Harris says that over the past year, city crews worked to clear nearly 30,000 thousand storm drains and taken 14,000 tons of debris out of the channels that Alvarez says need attention.

One street in particular that has a history of diverting water to cause flooding during storms has improved. It’s at Torrance Street and Reynard Way in Hillcrest. Construction on Reynard Way prevented water from flowing down into a cul-de-sac on Torrance Street during Tuesday’s rainfall.

While differing views on the preparedness of El Nino remain, the San Diego City Council’s Environment Committee also met Wednesday to continue a long discussion on the city’s preparations for El Nino.

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