Aftermath of Storms: Damage, Flooding, Road Closures

The third in this series of winter storms is expected to sweep San Diego County on Sunday and Monday

As the rain let up a little bit on Saturday, San Diego residents rolled up their sleeves and got to work cleaning up the damage of the storms that have pummeled the county over the past few days.

Friday’s powerful rain – the second in a series of three winter storms – caused power poles and trees to topple, some crushing cars, and caused flooding in parts of the county, plus road closures. Emergency crews were called to several water rescues in different parts of the county as motorists became trapped in the flood waters.

[G] Rain, Wind Descend on San Diego County

In San Diego’s South Bay, the severe weather knocked down trees and knocked out power to some homes. At a shopping center on Bonita Road, a eucalyptus tree came crashing down amid the storm Friday, crushing several cars. Luckily, no one was hurt.

"It sounded like thunder. A big cracking," explained Ryan Kessler.

Kessler's car was one of the vehicles damaged. You could barely see it hidden beneath the branches. His friend's Scion was crushed like an accordion by the weight of the tree's trunk.

Blanca Salas, who owns Very Best Travel, is one of multiple tenants at the strip mall who says they've warned the owner about the danger posed by the eucalyptus trees.

“We were expecting this,” said Salas. “That’s why I park far away from the trees. We told him about the trees a long time ago and he said there's nothing he can do.”

On Saturday morning, crews and locals there worked to clear the tree, debris and shattered glass from the South Bay parking lot. 

Bonita resident Ron Cooling was also dealing with a mess in his neighborhood, where two large trees fell over in the street, blocking residents into the cul-de-sac.

“It’s kind of scary,” he told NBC 7, referring to the fact that residents couldn’t get in or out of the area. “No emergency vehicles, nobody can get down to our street right now. It’s completely blocked.”

“I just worry because it’s an older neighborhood,” Cooling explained. “We have older people and I know one gentleman this morning was concerned that they don’t have a lot of food. They’re diabetic.”

Longtime Bonita resident James Dentice was one of the people stuck in his home Saturday morning. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he surveyed the damage on his street.

“I’ve lived here since ‘85 and I’ve never seen anything close to this,” he told NBC 7.

Up and down the street, power lines were also down Saturday morning in the aftermath of the storm. Outages caused concern among residents, including Marlene Hill.

“The street is dark as it is, when we do have power, so without it we were scared that people were going to go into all these big power lines,” Hill said.

She told NBC 7 she had an emergency kit handy, including flashlights, batteries and candles should another power outage occur.

Meanwhile, locals and officials were also dealing with flooding across the county.

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said there were a few road closures in place Saturday, as of 12 p.m., due to flooding. Those closures included:

• La Media at Airway in San Diego
• Avenida Del Rio at Riverwalk in the Mission Valley area
• 26th Street at Pershing
• 10818 San Diego Mission Rd.
• 500 Camino De La Reina in Mission Valley
• 5800 Ward Rd.
• 1565 India St. in Little Italy

The final storm in this three-part series is expected to arrive Sunday and Monday. Get weather updates here.

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