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Fix for Mission Beach flooding approved

Posted at 3:23 PM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 20:30:19-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Relief appears to be on the way for one of San Diego's most notorious areas for flooding during storms: Mission Beach.

Bob Ruane says life on the peninsula is as good as it gets, except when a bad storm comes.

"If you miss it by ten minutes, your office is flooded," he said.

Ruane's real estate office is near the corner of Mission Boulevard and San Gabriel Place, where the waters rise. His office has seen its share of floods, and even the barricades he built aren't a sure thing if nearby adjacent offices aren't secured.

There's a storm drain steps from Ruane's door, but a closer look reveals a narrow, chipped pipe that stands little chance against the elements. The water that collects in the storm drain is supposed to flow underground and drain into Mission Bay.

In big storms the system is quickly overwhelmed. That's because Mission Beach's storm drain system dates back to the 1950s. The city says it's in poor condition and not functioning as needed. Pipes are corroded and some segments are disconnected.

But on Friday, the Coastal Commission approved a city project to replace, repair and realign six existing storm drains, install two new ones, and add bio-retention basins and low flow diversion system improvements.

"It needs to be done," Ruane said. "They're all full of sand, they're full of debris. The drains that are there really don't do their job."

The city says the project is part of its goal to provide flood-safe communities, clean water and clean beaches for all.

"In addition to the storm drain work, several green infrastructure elements will be installed including low-flow diversionary pumps that will catch dry-weather flows and redirect them to the City's sewer system and bioretention basins where stormwater will be directed and allowed to naturally filter back into the ground," the city said in a statement.

Construction is expected to start next year and cost $17 million.