SAN DIEGO - A strong late-autumn storm drenched the San Diego area Thursday, flooding coastal communities and ushering in a rash of traffic accidents on the region's soaked commuter routes.
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STORY: Water rescues reported
Early Thursday morning, rain fell a rate of near three-tenths of an inch per hour in the southwestern reaches of the county, according to the National Weather Service. Between 6 and 8 a.m., more than an inch of moisture accumulated in some areas, including Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Pacific Beach and San Ysidro.
By 10 a.m., the downpours had broken the previous rainfall record for the date at Lindbergh Field, the NWS reported. The total of 1.38 inches that fell at the bayside airport since midnight topped the previous Dec. 13 milestone of 0.47 of an inch, according to the federal agency.
In addition to numerous roadway collisions, the wintry storm caused flooding that necessitated the rescue of a man trapped in a torrent near Dairy Mart Road in San Ysidro and sent a 6-foot-diameter boulder tumbling down a Poway hillside and crashing into an unoccupied residential garage in the 13700 block of Vian Road, authorities said.
Standing water prompted temporary street closures in various sections of San Diego, including the Midway district and Point Loma, according to police. The California Highway Patrol, meanwhile, received dozens of accident reports per hour over the late morning, though most were non-injury fender-benders and spinouts.
Due to predicted wind-driven snow this afternoon and evening, forecasters issued a "winter weather" advisory for local mountains locales, including Cuyamaca, Julian and Mount Laguna, effective through 4 a.m. Friday.
Precipitation tallies from the storm were expected to reach between a half-inch and a quarter-inch in coastal and valley locations, and up to two inches in the mountains. A quarter-inch or less was predicted in the deserts.
Snowfall two to six inches deep was likely as low as the 4,000-foot level, according to meteorologists. Highland travelers were advised to be prepared for hazardous conditions, including icy roads and restricted visibility.
Some light mountain snowfall could continue into Friday night and resume Sunday, according to the weather service.