Nine people rescued from fast-moving waters in San Diego County

Flooding along Los Peñasquitos River in Torrey Pines.


At least nine people were rescued Monday in three separate swift-water incidents in San Diego County, which is experiencing tremendous runoff due to back-to-back storms that turned out to be stronger than anticipated.

The latest storm — which arrived Sunday night and will last into Tuesday — also has produced debris flows and flooding throughout the region, the National Weather Service said.

The largest rescue involved seven people who became stuck on a small island in fast-moving water near 4700 Pacific Highway in San Diego just after 9 a.m. Some of the victims ended up in the water. Rescue crews quickly moved the people to safety.

About two hours earlier, an unidentified person got caught in swift waters flowing through the Otay Lakes area east of Chula Vista. Cal Fire said it found a vehicle in the water with the person on top. The person was rescued and released after an assessment by paramedic crews.

Around 6 a.m., a swift water team rescued a woman whose car entered the San Diego River in Mission Valley. The car was in about 2 feet of water.

That area has received 2 to 3 inches of water over a 24-hour period, and the river was at flood stage — 12.77 feet, the weather service said.

The storm also triggered a debris flow along State Road 78 near Julian, blocking both lanes of traffic, the weather service said. Flooding also was a factor in the closure of a portion of Discovery Street in San Marcos, Harmony Grove Road in Escondido and Central Avenue near Bonita. Flooding also closed part of a popular horse trail in Carmel Valley.


The Alliance San Diego’s 35th Annual All Peoples Celebration in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was hosted as scheduled at the Balboa Park Activity Center, but the community information tables were moved inside.

The county also has been affected by powerful winds.

The weather service said a downed tree slowed traffic at the intersection of Valley Center Road and Mac Tan Road in Valley Center. The area was hit by nearly 2 inches of rain over a 24-hour period and winds gusting nearly 30 mph.

Since late Sunday, the weather service has reported gusts to 74 mph on Palomar Mountain, 48 mph at Camp Pendleton, 44 mph at North Island and 39 mph at San Diego International Airport.

A satellite photo shows weather moving in to Southern California.
Bands of moisture flowed ashore Monday in San Diego County.

As for rainfall, through 9:18 a.m Monday, the two storms had dropped 10.62 inches of rain on Palomar Mountain, 7.31 inches at Lake Cuyamaca, 7.16 inches at Lake Henshaw, 6.32 inches at Otay Mountain, 6.08 inches at Mount Laguna, 5.72 inches at Lake Wohlford and 5.30 inches at Escondido.

The storm also dropped 3.96 inches at Santee, 3.86 inches at National City, 3.81 inches at Encinitas, 3.61 inches at San Onofre and 2.58 inches at San Diego International Airport.

On the coast, a high surf advisory will be in effect through 10 p.m. Tuesday. The waves have been slamming local beaches for days.

“A slight decrease in surf is possible on Monday before another west swell (though with a slightly shorter period) produces more elevated to high surf Monday night through Tuesday, mostly remaining below 10 feet,” the weather service said.

“The surf will gradually lower Tuesday night and Wednesday, with no high surf expected the rest of the week.”

San Diego Union-Tribune staff writer Lauren J. Mapp and City News Service contributed to this story.