1st major storm of year brings flooding

SAN DIEGO — The first major storm of the year brought much more rain than predicted Thursday, prompting the closure of several streets around the county.

midwayFloodingRain began falling all around the region well before sunrise, and a coastal flood advisory was in effect from 6 to 10 a.m. while a small craft advisory for mariners off the San Diego coastline was scheduled to expire at 8 a.m.

Standing water prompted several temporary street closures in parts of San Diego city prone to flooding, including areas of the Midway District and Point Loma, according to San Diego police. The California Highway Patrol reported it was receiving dozens of accident reports per hour, though most were noninjury fender-benders and spinouts. An exact tally was not immediately available.

The storm was much wetter than originally forecast and had already brought the most rain to the region since a storm on Nov. 12, 2011, FOX5 weathercaster Chrissy Russo said. Rain gauges at Lindbergh field had recorded 1.25 inches by 9 a.m., she said.

The National Weather Service reported rain fell a rate of near three- tenths of an inch per hour in southwestern San Diego County. Between 6 and 8 a.m., more than an inch of rainfall accumulated in some parts, including Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Pacific Beach and San Ysidro.

The Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for flooding in southwestern San Diego County. The advisory was scheduled to expire at 9:45 a.m.Crash on I-805 at El Cajon Blvd.

There is a 90 percent chance of rain west of the mountains through 4 p.m., Russo said. From 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday, the chance of rain drops to 35 percent, she added.

Due to snow and gusty winds, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the mountains — including Cuyamaca, Julian and Mount Laguna — effective from 4 this morning to 4 a.m. Friday.

“Most of the snow will occur late (Wednesday) through Thursday evening, as the cold front moves through the area,” according to an NWS advisory.

The agency said snow levels were initially around 6,500 to 7,000 feet Wednesday evening and would gradually fall to between 4,000 and 4,500 feet late today. Total snowfall from the storm was expected to be around two to six inches.

Sustained west-to-southwest winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 30 mph, also were expected in the mountains early today.

“Travelers through the mountains should be prepared for hazardous winter weather conditions,” including slippery roads and low visibility because of blowing snow, according to an NWS advisory. “Motorists are urged to check the latest road reports before departing. Always carry chains and take extra food and clothing if you must travel into the mountains.”

Some lingering light snow showers could continue into late Friday morning, and there is potential for additional light snow Friday night and Sunday due to some disturbances that may move through the area, according to the Weather Service.

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