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Weekend storm prompts flash flood warnings throughout San Diego County

Heavy rain, snow douse San Diego region
Posted at 9:08 AM, Mar 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-30 21:35:44-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County was under a flood watch Saturday as heavy rains returned to Southern California.

Up to 2 inches of rain is expected through Monday, and substantial rainfall started falling Saturday morning.

"Radar update - the main band of heavy rain is starting to moving into far western San Diego county coastal cities, expect peak rainfall rates of 0.2 to 0.5 inches per hour which will cause some urban and low lying flooding through 11 am," the National Weather Service's San Diego office posted at 8:20 a.m. Saturday.

A wind advisory was in effect until 11 a.m. Saturday for the San Diego County deserts including the city of Borrego Springs, with gusts up to 55 mph in the forecast.

On Friday, officials encouraged residents to "prepare and take precautions" ahead of the storm. The city's Storm Patrol -- made up of dozens of teams from the Transportation and Stormwater departments -- were sent out to clean storm drains and inlets with a history of debris buildup. Crews were also sweeping streets to reduce trash and pollutants from entering waterways.

In the interest of residential safety, officials said the city might close flood-prone roads along the San Diego River.

During the rain, Storm Patrol teams will monitor pump stations and more than 46,000 storm drains throughout the city for any issues. They will also respond to reported incidents of flooding, and downed trees or branches.

Residents may report storm-related problems or issues by calling the city's Public Works Dispatch at 619-527-7500 or using the Get It Done app.

The storm was accompanied by cool weather, with a high of 58 expected in downtown San Diego on Saturday and 61 on Sunday. Overnight temperatures will be in the lower 50s near downtown, dropping into the 30s in the mountains and the 30s and 40s in the valleys.

Snow levels were expected to fall to 5,000 to 5,500 feet in San Diego County, with several feet of snow possible above 6,000 feet by the end of the weekend, and strong winds combined with blowing snow will lead to extremely difficult travel in the mountains, forecasters said.

"By Monday, the trough becomes elongated and centered over northwest Mexico, but enough instability will remain to continue our chances for scattered, but lighter showers and thunderstorms through Monday morning," the NWS said. "By the afternoon, the majority of the activity looks to become confined to the mountains, with other areas slowly drying out."

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