Thunderstorms over central, east-central portions of San Diego County lead to flooding, outages

SAN DIEGO - Thunderstorms over the central and east-central portions of San Diego County led to roadway flooding and power outages and prompted meteorologists to issue a slew of warnings and other advisories Saturday.

Flash flooding was reported along state Route 78 near mile marker 66, and a flash flood warning is scheduled through 6:45 p.m. for east-central San Diego County, including Ocotillo Wells, Shelter Valley and Agua Caliente Springs, according to the National Weather Service.

More than two inches of rain have fallen in parts of mountain areas east of Shelter Valley, which could produce additional flash flooding along state Route 78 and county Highway S-2, forecasters said.

Motorists were advised to avoid driving into areas where water covered the roadway because flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. NWS officials said one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road.

Roadway flooding was reported shortly before 2 p.m. along state Route 94 near the Shockey Truck Trail, east of Dulzura, and in Borrego Springs about 3 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol. Heavy rain and hail were falling in Pine Valley near state Route 79 around 1 p.m., the CHP reported.

A weather-related power outage hit about 2,700 San Diego Gas & Electric customers in Borrego Springs, Shelter Valley and Canebrake Friday afternoon.

The lightly-populated area was served by "micro-generators" in Borrego Springs while repairs were made to the connection to the SDG&E grid, and an about 10-15 minute outage was expected as the outside connection was re-established, a company spokeswoman said.

Power was restored in the area by late afternoon, she said.

An urban and small stream flood advisory was in effect through 6 p.m. for central San Diego County, where thunderstorms continued to produce moderate to local heavy rainfall this afternoon. Areas included under the advisory were Julian, Pine Valley, Banner, Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca Peak, Descanso, Live
Oak Springs, Morena Village, Mount Laguna, Potrero, Santa Ysabel, Tecate and Tierra del Sol.

A flash flood watch issued for East County mountains and deserts is set to extend until 8 p.m.. Monsoon moisture was expected to result in scattered showers and thunderstorms, NWS officials said.

"Conditions remain favorable for strong, slow moving thunderstorms to produce flash flooding and excessive runoff, especially over and downstream from recent wildfires," according to the NWS.

Potentially damaging wind and hail could also be possible, meteorologists said.

Those in the area were advised to move to higher ground. 

"Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property," the warning stated. "Do not attempt to cross swiftly flowing waters of unknown depth by foot or by
automobile."

Severe thunderstorm warnings for east-central and central San Diego County expired Saturday afternoon.

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