San Diego

Powerful Winter Storm Brings Rain, Winds and Flooding to San Diego

An areal flood warning was extended for San Diego County's central and coastal areas for Monday afternoon to 12:15 a.m. Tuesday.

A powerful winter storm soaked San Diego Monday, dumping a record-breaking amount of rain across the County and causing collisions, flooding and road closures across the region. 

Get updated information on rain totals here.

An areal flood warning was extended for San Diego County's central and coastal areas for Monday afternoon to 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to the NWS. An areal flood warning is issued for flooding that occurs more gradually over a period of prolonged rainfall. 

A flood warning issued for the San Diego River at Fashion Valley was extended to 2 a.m., according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The San Diego River is expected to notch its third highest flood level since record keeping began, according to the National Weather Service. The river measured 13 feet, 3 inches high at 9 p.m., but was expected to swell by another foot over the next few hours and crest at 14 feet, 3 inches around 1 a.m. Tuesday, the NWS said.

NWS records show the last time the river topped 14 feet was back in 2010. The highest San Diego River level ever recorded was 19 feet 3 inches in 1916, while the second-highest level was 16 feet 3 inches in 1980.

Monday afternoon, the river flooded, blocking several streets in San Diego, like Ward Road, where water reached the 24 Hour Fitness gym at the intersection.

Several additional low water crossings over the river in Mission Valley are closed due to the flooding.

Areas impacted by the flooding include Fashion Valley road, Avenida Del Rio, Camino Del Este, Camino De La Reina and Mission Center Road. The flood will flow into the Fashion Valley parking garage and the golf course, possibly prompting the closure of the Fashion Valley Transit Center.

The added rainfall will create creeks and dangerous small river flooding, including the San Diego River.

The Fashion Valley transit center has been closed to all bus traffic, according to the San Diego MTS. 

A low pressure system from the northwest tapped a plume of subtropical moisture directed into northern Baja, the NWS said.

As of midday Monday, Mt. Woodson had received 2.98 inches of rain with San Ysidro reporting 1.82 inches. More than a third of an inch of rain has fallen in Borrego Springs.

Several communities across San Diego County lost power amid heavy rainfall late Monday night.

More than 4,000 customers were without power in the Oceanside, San Luis Rey, Ocean Hills and Southeast Camp Pendleton area at 9 p.m. in an unplanned outage. By 11:30 p.m., only 78 customers were out of power. The estimated restore time was 2:20 a.m. 

Nearly 600 customers were without power in Mission Valley, Kearny Mesa, Tierrasanta, University Heights, North Park and Normal Heights in an unplanned outage which started at 8:30 p.m. approximately. The estimated restoration time is 11:30 p.m. 

In Jamul, more than 1,000 were without power in an unplanned outage. Residents in Granite Hills, Singing Hills, Jamacha and Indian Springs were also affected. The estimated restoration time is 11:30 p.m. 

For Ramona residents, Wildcat Canyon Road was closed to vehicle traffic beginning at noon. The closure is at Quincy Canyon Road and was in effect until further notice. All access to Ramona is via SR-67, according to the CHP.

In Imperial Beach, there was flooding at Coronado Avenue and Gaywood Street. Storm runoff was pooling up to 6 inches in the corner.

Near the Tijuana River Estuary on 19th Street, the roadway was flooded. A large truck was about to drive through but the driver turned around because the water was just too deep.

In Sorrento Valley, heavy flooding left Roselle Street shut down and two cars stuck in rising water in persistant rain. Multiple streets were shut down in the area: a part of Sorrento Valley Road near the trolley station, part of Sorrento Valley Boulevard beneath Interstate 805, and part of Roselle in an office park area. 

A water pump and sandbags were the only thing protecting Amato's Auto Body from flood waters. One employee says it's been a 30 year problem for the business on Sorrento Valley Road.

In Mission Valley, crews worked to rescue a transient stuck on a golf course with his dog. 

Pouring rain creates many messes across the South Bay, pooling water on the streets. At its deepest point, showers have flooded roads up to six inches. NBC 7’s Chris Chan reports.

The inclement weather prompted SeaWorld San Diego to close.

Chula Vista resident Arturo Soler said the storm made him change his plans for the day.

"I need to drive in the morning to Riverside but I just stopped because there was a lot of traffic in the morning," Soler said. "I delayed that until later."

Strong winds, with a forecasted strength of 30 mph near the coast, and more than 45 mph in the mountains, will be strongest in the afternoon up until 3 p.m., Kodesh said.

Emergency crews responded to hundreds of accidents across the county.

From midnight to 4 p.m. Monday, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers reported 509 collisions across the County. On average, there are approximately 140 crashes on a good weather day. 

A San Diego Fire-Rescue engine stopped on northbound I-805 at I-8 was struck by another vehicle just before noon. CHP officers said the firefighters were helping a stranded driver when the collision occurred.

On southbound I-15 at the connector to westbound SR-52, a light pole was in one of the lanes after several cars collided. One car drove up an embankment and struck the light pole. One patient needed emergency medical attention.

On northbound I-805 at Adams, the CHP worked on a solo vehicle crash where the car ended up on the other side of the K-rail. No one was injured.

On northbound I-805, south of Balboa Avenue, a white van struck the guard rail and overturned in the center divide. No injuries were reported.

CHP Officer Jake Sanchez said most rain-related accidents can be avoided.

"I could tell everybody 100 times to slow down," Sanchez said. "They have to slow down. That would mediate about 75 percent of the crashes from even occurring. If they would just slow down." 

According to San Diego police, the following streets are experiencing flooding:

  • Garnet Avenue just west of Soledad in Pacific Beach
  • Northbound La Jolla Boulevard in La Jolla
  • Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley
  • Avenida Del Rio at Camino de la Reina in Mission Valley

The San Diego County Department of Public Works reported flooding on Country Club Road in the Harmony Grove area and on Lemon Crest Drive, between Wintergardens Boulevard and Riverview Avenue, in Lakeside.

An early report of large rocks on eastbound state Route 78 at Wynola Road was unfounded, CHP said.

SeaWorld San Diego sent out an update that its park would be closed to the public Monday due to inclement weather.

Jodi Kodesh's Forecast for February 27, 2017
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