Heavy rain pummeled San Diego County Friday as the second storm in a series hit hard, bringing with it thunderstorm and flash flood warnings.
[G] Rain, Wind Descend on San Diego County
NBC 7 meteorologist Jodi Kodesh said San Diegans would continue to give those umbrellas a workout Friday with that second storm system sweeping the county. Heavy rain first hit in the early hours -- and was expected to last all day, intensifying as the day unfolds. This rainfall comes on the heels of Thursday's storm, the first in the series expected to last through Monday and perhaps linger into Tuesday.
Kodesh said Friday's showers would move quickly.
“It’s a very powerful storm. We are going to see wild wind blow into our county today,” she explained. “Even our beaches are under a high wind warning. We could see wind gusts up to 60 mph at the coast; that is definitely enough to topple a tree.”
Temperatures will be cold, for San Diego, with a high of 59 degrees. Kodesh said the most intense rainfall will come down between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday. Scattered showers will linger through Friday evening.
The weekend will be wet as well, with a chance of showers Saturday morning and again after 10 p.m. On Sunday and into Monday, the third storm system in this series will arrive. The storm on Monday should be the wettest of all, Kodesh said. Check NBC 7’s forecast here.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service (NWS) said the storms have activated multiple weather warnings around San Diego County including a high surf warning in effect through 10 p.m. Tuesday.
The NWS expects high surf to increase Friday to 10 to 16-foot surf. By Sunday, the high surf should subside to 4 to 8 feet. Monday, surf will be between 9 and 12 feet at local beaches, slowly lowering into Tuesday. The highest tide – 4.6 feet – will be Saturday at 4:35 a.m. in La Jolla, according to the NWS.
The high surf will bring with it potential for strong rip currents, coastal erosion and coastal flooding. Piers may also be flooded by the high surf. Often times, in storms and winter weather events, the Ocean Beach Pier is closed to the public as a precaution. Officials discourage people from swimming in our oceans during high surf warnings.
The NWS said a high wind warning is in effect through 10 p.m. Saturday. The strongest winds are expected Friday and Friday night. The winds will gradually decrease Saturday but strong gusts are expected to strike again Sunday.
The NWS has also issued a winter storm warning for Julian and Pine Valley, effective until 6 a.m. Saturday. Above 6,000 feet, those areas should see between 12 and 18 inches of snow; at 5,000 to 5,500 feet, 3 to 7 inches of snow are expected.
Mount Laguna saw snow Friday and looked like a winter wonderland:
A flash flood warning was also in effect for San Diego County’s coastal areas, valleys, mountains and inland areas through at least 9 p.m. This includes the following communities: Oceanside; Vista; Carlsbad; Encinitas; Chula Vista; National City; San Diego; Escondido; El Cajon; San Marcos; La Mesa; Santee; Poway.
Residents in one Lakeside neighborhood, which lacks proper drainage, experienced flooding Thursday night and Friday morning:
Due to the strong winds, the NWS also issued an aviation weather warning for the San Diego International Airport. Gusts of 40 knots or greater are expected from noon to 4 p.m. There’s also a slight risk of thunderstorms during the same time frame, with risk of large hail and lightning.
In light of possible flooding, several locations across San Diego County's districts are offering free sandbags to residents.
Also, the San Diego Housing Commission, in partnership with the City of San Diego, has activated its Inclement Weather Shelter Program for downtown San Diego’s homeless at Father Joe’s Villages and Connections Housing Downtown. The program provides shelter to the homeless during severe weather conditions.
To that end, Father Joe’s Villages Shelter on Imperial Avenue, which can house up to 250 people, will be open to the homeless starting at 4 p.m. Friday. The homeless can also check into PATH San Diego/Connections Housing Downtown, which can house 30 people, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Impact of Friday's Storm
Due to Friday's severe weather, SeaWorld San Diego said the amusement park will be closed. The park plans to reopen Saturday.
Legoland California Resort in Carlsbad announced it would close early Friday, at 12:30 p.m., due to the weather.
There were also reports of fallen trees, including a large tree that toppled on at the UC San Diego campus, damaging some cars, and a tree that fell and blocked roadways in Scripps Ranch, at Canyon Lake and Aviary drives.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) confirmed a tree had fallen in the 2000 block of Riviera Drive in Vista and it was blocking some lanes. Some wires were down as well, officials said.
A tree also fell on 5th Avenue in Chula Vista on at least four Chula Vista Middle School students. Some of those students were taken to a local hospital.
In Poway, a tree fell and blocked Valle Verde northbound at Starmount (Vineland Hill/Lomas Verdes Estates). Another tree toppled on Twin Peaks eastbound, between Midland and Budwin Lane. Public Works crews were clearing those scenes, but City of Poway officials advised motorists to use caution in these areas and expect traffic delays.
At 2:30 p.m., a tree fell in the 700 block of Broadway in Chula Vista, hitting a car. There was one person inside the car at the time; that person was able to get out. The downed tree was blocking lanes, police said.
Over on Plaza Boulevard in National City, crews spent hours fixing a power pole that fell after the anchors gave out during the storm. Officials said residents in the area, along with some businesses, were left without power while crews repaired the downed pole. Some businesses shut their doors for the day.
In Encinitas -- at Encinitas Boulevard and Willowspring -- a power pole toppled and on the 1800 block of Tennis Place, a downed Eucalyptus tree nearly sliced a home in half.
In Oceanside, CHP officials said there was flooding in two lanes along Gopher Canyon and Little Canyon at around 12:30 p.m. Officials said there was lots of water in the roadway; motorists were advised to avoid the area.
In Carlsbad, firefighters, lifeguards rushed to Buena Vista Creek for a search and rescue mission after witnesses reported a man in the water. The U.S. Coast Guard sent a helicopter to aid in the search. After a few hours, officials said they couldn't find anyone in the creek and the search was called off.
At approximately 3:20 p.m., the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) was attempting a water rescue on University Avenue and Alamo Drive where several people were trapped inside multiple vehicles.
In Coronado, a tree was uprooted near several homes on the 1400 block of Leyte Road. A Eucalyptus tree at Pioneer Park in Mission Hills was also uprooted from the heavy winds. In the same area, on Hickory and Trias streets, a Palm tree landed on a Toyota Carolla parked across the street.
In Rolando, a few cars were caught in the floodwaters on University Avenue and Aragon Drive. The Swift Water Rescue Teams pulled two people and a dog to safety from the water.
In Sorrento Valley, three people were rescued from their vehicles after the engines stalled in the water rushing down the street.
NBC 7 viewer Grace Yayco sent us a video of flooding on the Interstate 8 at Fletcher Parkway.
Parkway Plaza in El Cajon closed down Friday evening due to a power outtage.
San Diego Fire advised that after 7 p.m., all street crossings across Mission Valley, east of Mission Gorge Road would be closed due to flooding.
Dozens of power outages were reported across the county on San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) website. One of the larger outages was reported around 11 a.m. and impacted about 3,000 customers in parts of the following communities: Sorrento; Mira Mesa; Scripps Ranch; MCAS-Miramar; Scripps Ranch; Lake Murray; Mission Gorge; Sycamore Canyon.
According to an SDG&E spokesperson, at the height of the storm, an estimated 35,000 customers were out of power across the county. As of 10:30 p.m., 18,000 people still did not have power.