Newport-Mesa weathers first day of storm

As a much-needed storm dumped rain over Southern California Friday, officials throughout the Newport-Mesa area said — for the most part — disaster was averted.

"We're doing all our normal stuff, and so far, luckily, it's been uneventful," said Sgt. Mike Scalise of the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Harbor Patrol, which watches over Newport Harbor, Dana Point Harbor and Huntington Harbour. "It's sort of our first storm in quite a few years."

Late Friday afternoon he said the storm hadn't caused any major problems at Orange County's harbors.

Harbor Patrol has been preparing for the rain over the past couple days, Scalise said, checking mooring lines and making sure boats are tied securely or are moved out of known trouble spots.

Deputies are also warning kayakers, paddle boarders and others who may be headed into the water to turn around, Scalise said.

He added that areas near harbor entrances tend to see the biggest swells.

Operations were largely running smoothly at John Wayne Airport, spokeswoman Jenny Wedge wrote in an email, though at least one flight headed to northern California was delayed due to weather conditions there.

There were more traffic snags than usual on the streets of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, police said, however, they were mostly minor.

Newport Beach Police said gusts of wind had downed a few trees. In one case, a tree knocked into a power line pole, snarling traffic on El Modena Avenue near 15th Street late Friday afternoon.

Scattered roads and sidewalk were flooded, but, according Sgt. Rachel Johnson, it was a level of flooding, "you'd associate with a beach town that rarely gets rain."

Pumping and drainage systems designed to mitigate flooding on the Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island were apparently working properly, she said.

In Costa Mesa, at about 10:15 a.m., a traffic collision near the intersection of Harbor Avenue and Baker Street, drew a hazardous materials clean-up because one of the cars had been carrying pool cleaning chemicals that spilled into a drain.

But aside from that, said CMPD Lt. Bryan Glass, "nothing significant has come up."

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