County gives away sandbags as storm approaches

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SAN DIEGO -- A strong Pacific storm brought heavy rain and the potential for flash flooding to San Diego County Tuesday, meteorologists said.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for coastal, valley and mountains areas from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 9 a.m. Wednesday, saying the greatest threat for flash flooding and debris flow will be on steep coastal mountain slopes, and in and below any recent burn areas.

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However, “there is some risk of flash flooding west of the mountains should very intense rainfall develop,'' the Weather Service said.

Rainfall totals from the storm will range from 1 to 2.5 inches in coastal and valley areas, and 2 to 4 inches in the mountains, according to the NWS.

In addition to Tuesday's flash flood watch, a coastal flood advisory for high tides near to above 7 feet was scheduled from 3 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday.

Oceanside, Cardiff, La Jolla and Imperial Beach will be especially vulnerable to flooding Wednesday, the NWS said.

For local mariners, a small craft advisory for strong winds over coastal waters was scheduled to take effect at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The advisory, which is issued when wind speeds of 21 to 33 knots are expected, will expire at 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Weather Service.

Conditions Tuesday afternoon will be hazardous to boaters, the NWS said, adding that seas would be choppy.

Property owners concerned about flooding may obtain up to 10 free sandbags each from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. The empty sacks -- which must be filled by recipients, using beach sand if so desired -- are available at lifeguard stations at La Jolla Shores, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach, and at the following city firehouses:

  • Fire Station 15, 4711 Voltaire St., Ocean Beach;
  • Fire Station 20, 3305 Kemper St., Midway district;
  • Fire Station 21, 750 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach;
  • Fire Station 28, 3880 Kearny Villa Road, Kearny Mesa;
  • Fire Station 29, 198 W. San Ysidro Blvd., San Ysidro;
  • Fire Station 33, 16966 Bernardo Center Drive, Rancho Bernardo;
  • Fire Station 37, 11640 Spring Canyon Road, Scripps Ranch;
  • Fire Station 39, 4949 La Cuenta Drive, Tierrasanta;
  • Fire Station 40, 13393 Salmon River Road, Rancho Penasquitos;
  • Fire Station 46, 14456 Lazanja Drive, Santaluz; and
  • Fire Station 47, 6041 Edgewood Bend Court, Pacific Highlands.

County officials, for their part, announced that they would distribute free bags as well as sand -- people taking advantage of the offer were asked to bring their own shovels for filling purposes -- at the following sites:

  • Bonita/Sunnyside Fire Department: 4900 Bonita Road;
  • Cal Fire Station 30, 17304 State Route 94, Dulzura;
  • Cal Fire Station 50, 1587 SR-78, Julian;
  • Cal Fire Station 70, 16971 SR-76, Valley Center;
  • Cal Fire Station 73, 28205 N. Lake Wohlford Road, Valley Center;
  • North County Fire Protection District Station 4, 4375 Pala Mesa Drive, Fallbrook; and
  • Ramona Fire Station, 3410 Dye Road.