Downed Trees, Flooded Roads, Power Outages – NBC 7 San Diego

A powerful storm system swept across San Diego County overnight, leaving in its wake downed trees, flooded roadways, power outages and more damage Monday morning.

The rainfall, which already dumped more than 3 inches of rain in parts of inland and coastal San Diego County over the last two days, was expected to continue during Monday’s morning commute — albeit much lighter than overnight’s downpours — leaving the possibility for dangerous roadways.

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 closures here.

An already-engorged 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 see elevated water levels on the roadways.

Some did not heed the warning. At least two water rescues already needed to be conducted in the area just before 6 a.m. Monday as vehicles became trapped in rising water.

By 10 a.m., San Diego Fire-Rescue Lifeguards were searching for two people who may have been swept away by floodwaters near the Interstate 5 and I-8 interchange. At least 5 people had been pulled out buy “two more possibly still in,” the agency tweeted.

In San Ysidro, a roadway next to the Tijuana River was so flooded, a woman’s SUV became trapped in about 4 feet of water. Her vehicle stalled and swift water rescue crews were called to rescue her using a life raft.

And in Otay Mesa, Cal Fire crews had to rescue a person who was sitting on top of their vehicle on Otay Lakes Road.

A flood advisory was in effect until 7:15 a.m. for low-lying areas that could flood, the NWS said. Areas that could be affected included Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Vista, San Marcos, Escondido, Poway, Ramona, Valley Center, Fallbrook, Camp Pendleton, and Palomar Mountain.

Trees and tree limbs were also being knocked down by the downpours combined with gusty winds. San Diego police were responding after a “wide-diameter pine tree” fell on a two-story apartment complex in Serra Mesa just after 5 a.m. Monday. The damage was contained to the outside of the complex but it forced the evacuation of about 8 people. No one was injured.

In Southcrest, a Palm Tree fell on a home causing its ceiling to collapse, which prevented about nine people from getting out on their own. Firefighters responded and no one was injured, SDPD said.

And in Golden Hill, another large eucalyptus tree had fallen from the San Diego Municipal Golf Course onto the street, causing lanes to be blocked.

At least two massive eucalyptus trees collapsed in Pacific Beach. While one downed tree narrowly missed several vehicles, another took out a power line, leaving thousands of residents without electricity in the early morning hours Monday.

Nearly 8,000 San Diego Gas & Electric customers were without power Monday morning, although it was not clear how many of those outages were weather-related. At least one affecting a few hundred customers was due to a downed tree while SDG&E was still assessing others to determine the cause. Some people had been without power since Sunday evening with restoration times of Monday night. Check the outage map here.

Even when the region dries up, downed trees were still possible due to over-saturated ground, which can loosen roots, and gusty winds. A wind advisory was in effect until 7 a.m. with southerly winds in the 15 to 30 mph range. Some gusts could reach 40 mph, the NWS said.

The heaviest part of the storm was behind us but off-and-on showers were likely to continue throughout the day Monday into Tuesday, NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen. Once this storm passes, San Diego County, will likely get a break from the rain for the rest of the week, although there is a possibility for light showers from a small system to our north on Thursday.