People Trapped In Flooding, Trees Down Into Homes As Hurricane Devastates San Diego County
A powerful storm system swept across San Diego County overnight, leaving fallen trees, flooded roads, power outages and more damage in its wake on Monday morning.
The rain, which has dumped more than 3 inches of rain across inland and coastal parts of San Diego County over the past two days, is expected to continue through Monday morning’s commute – albeit much lighter than night – leaving the possibility of road hazards.
SkyRanger 7 Flies Over San Diego River Flooding
The San Diego County Department of Public Works said several roads were flooded, including a portion of Quarry Road in Spring Valley, Sandia Creek Drive in the Fallbrook area and several streets in Ramona. Stay up to date with the latest closings here.
Huge trees fell onto cars, power lines and apartment roofs in Pacific Beach on Monday morning, Priya Sridhar of NBC 7 reported.
Pacific Beach residents woke up in the middle of the night to crashes and 21,000 interruptions, reports Priya Sridhar of NBC 7.
If you’re on the road tomorrow, make sure you’re prepared for dangerous traveling conditions, from flooded roads in urban areas to slippery, icy roads in the mountains. Be sure to give yourself extra time, slow down and pack emergency supplies for mtn travelers. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/0dtJhp2uJQ
An already full San Diego River was expected to flood further Monday afternoon in the Fashion Valley area. A flood warning was in effect until midnight. The National Weather Service said several roads were already closed and advised drivers to turn around if they notice high water levels on the roads.
Some ignored the warning. At least two water rescues already needed to be carried out in the area shortly before 6am on Monday, when vehicles became trapped in the rising water.
Around 10:00 am, San Diego Fire-Rescue lifeguards responded to a group of seven people who were stranded on an island and some in the water near the intersection of Interstate 5 and I-8. Lifeguards rescued five people, but a search was launched for two more who were eventually located nearby. Using a rescue boat, lifeguards pulled the last two people out of the water at SeaWorld Drive, according to firefighters.
In San Ysidro, a road near the Tijuana River was so flooded that a woman’s SUV was trapped four feet deep. Her vehicle stalled and rapid water rescuers were called in to rescue her using a life raft.
The atmospheric river had a few more tricks up its sleeve Monday for San Diego’s East County residents.
Crews from the city of La Mesa closed the Fletcher Parkway eastbound from Amaya Drive due to a roadside tree around 8:00 pm. Monday.
And in Otay Mesa, Cal Fire crews had to rescue a person who was sitting on top of their vehicle on Otay Lakes Road.
Trees and tree branches were also knocked down by the rains combined with gusts of wind. San Diego police responded shortly after 5:00 a.m. to a “large-diameter pine tree” that fell on a two-story apartment complex in Serra Mesa.
SkyRanger 7 was flying over Mission Valley on Monday when it spotted vehicles stopped in the turbulent waters of the San Diego River.
The damage was contained outside the complex but forced the evacuation of about eight people. They would be unable to return to their units until the city can determine that the building is structurally sound, a city official said.
No one was injured and the displaced residents were being housed at another site owned by the property management company, the official said.
“We have to go over some plans, but we try to do it as soon as possible to try to get residents, especially when they live in the back of their houses, as soon as possible, but we have to make sure it’s safe to use.” .
A tree fell on an apartment complex in Serra Mesa on January 16, 2023.
In Southcrest, a palm tree fell on a house causing the roof to cave in, preventing about nine people from getting out alone. Firefighters responded and no one was injured, SDPD said.
And in Golden Hill, another large eucalyptus tree fell from the San Diego Municipal Golf Course onto the street, causing lanes to be blocked.
This tree was uprooted in the storm. City crews are working to get rid of it and 2,100 residents were without power in this area of Pacific Beach overnight. Fallen tree is in Fortuna & Promontory. How are things where you are? @nbcsandiego pic.twitter.com/3swscWDLqa
At least two huge eucalyptus trees collapsed on Pacific Beach. While a fallen tree barely missed several vehicles, another downed a power line, leaving thousands of residents without electricity in the early hours of Monday morning.
Nearly 8,000 San Diego Gas & Electric customers were left without power on Monday morning, although it’s not clear how many of those outages were weather-related. At least one affecting a few hundred customers was due to a fallen tree while SDG&E was still evaluating others to determine the cause. Some people had been without power since Sunday night, with restoration times on Monday night. Check the outage map here.
Even when the region is dry, it is still possible for trees to be felled due to the supersaturated soil, which can loosen roots, and gusts of wind. A wind warning was in effect until 7 am with southerly winds in the range of 15 to 30 mph. Some gusts could reach 40 mph, the NWS said.
The heaviest part of the storm is behind us, but intermittent showers will likely continue throughout the day Monday through Tuesday, NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen. Once this storm passes, San Diego County will likely have a break in rain for the rest of the week, although there is a possibility of light showers from a small system to the north on Thursday.