A powerful winter storm brought heavy rain along the coast and up to two inches of snow in some mountain communities on Monday.
As of 6 p.m., more than three-fourths of an inch of rain had fallen in Ramona and Santee with communities like Rancho Bernardo and El Cajon seeing roughly half an inch of rain in the previous 12 hours, according to National Weather Service.
Julian recorded 1.24 inches of rain by 6 p.m., according to the NWS.
The NWS issued a flash flood watch through midnight Monday.
This is the just the beginning of what looks to be a rainy week. During this time, rain may fall at a rate between a half-inch to an inch an hour with the heaviest rainfall near the coast.
San Diego Fire-Rescue lifeguards and swift water rescue team members were on the highest level of alert. Crews were deployed to areas where flooding normally occurs during heavy rain. These include Monument Road as well as Mission Valley.
Residents in San Diego’s burn areas, like in Alpine following the West Fire in July 2018, braced for mudslides following the expected ongoing showers.
“You just have to prep for it, I mean – especially with like, the mudslides and things like that and the water just overflowing,” said Alpine resident Alfredo Zermeno.
Homeowners in the area have been placing straw waddles and sandbags around houses and at the top of hills to prevent water from washing away the delicate landscapes.
The county provided the straw waddles and the Alpine Fire Protection District provided the sandbags, all for free.
In the North County, downpours closed roads.
One road, in particular, Country Club Drive, crosses over the Escondido Creek. By 4 p.m., the street was shut down from overflowing water.
“If you see water flowing across the road, don’t drive. Find another route,” said Captain Correy Cooper with the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department.
Cooper said Country Club Drive was the department’s main target hazard.
Though, the weather didn’t faze every resident.
One woman switched out her shoes for flip flops saying, “I’m freezing actually, but my feet will dry and my shoes will not get ruined or wet.”
However, the weather did impede some hoping to get outdoor work done.
“We’re in the middle of doing our backyard, so work stopped,” one man admitted.
Similarly, crews faced rainy obstacles down in Serra Mesa where a 30-foot-deep sinkhole opened up on Interstate 805.
A winter storm warning was in effect through Tuesday morning for mountains above 5,000 feet in San Diego and Riverside counties.
Big Bear’s summit saw 5 inches of snow, as of 6 p.m. Monday, NWS said.
A winter storm warning means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible.
Monday's storm marks the fourth for San Diego since the new year began. Most recently, a storm brought more than a half-inch of rain over the weekend.