San Diego Prepares for Potential Flooding

Hamel's Gift Shop, on the boardwalk in Mission Beach, has heard the warnings before. But this storm is different for shop manager Mike Romano.

“I think this time it is going to happen, Romano said.

On Thursday, Romano and his crew took a break from behind the counter to clear merchandise from storage. It has flooded in the past. They are also putting sandbags around the building.

“We are putting them around the doorway,” Romano said.

“There is always going to be someone in the building in case something moves,” he added.

San Diego got a taste of what's to come during Thursday's evening commute. As of 4:30 p.m., the California Highway Patrol responded to 242 collisions in the county.

A 36-year-old Oceanside man was killed on the 76 freeway near Gird Road. Police say wet roads and speed were both factors.

A High Surf Advisory begins on Saturday and lasts through Monday. Waves could reach 15 feet, causing coastal flooding in low areas.

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One hundred forty county public works department employees will work 12-hour shifts round the clock starting Friday.

The county website’s shows live streaming video of the streets that usually submerge during such weather events. They include Quarry Road, Country Club Road and Sandia Creek.

No doubt the storm will wash out retail foot traffic as well this weekend. While San Diego needs the rain, Romano sees another silver lining.

“It's good that it is the off-season. It's good that it didn't happen during our busy season,” he said.

The storm should bring more than a foot of snow to the mountains. A public works spokesman warns visitors to steer clear of snow plows.

As for flooded roads, if you can't see the asphalt, don't try to drive through it. Your car could be swept away.

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