Storm douses county, downs trees

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SAN DIEGO — A Pacific storm buffeted the San Diego area Friday with rain showers and stiff winds, tangling traffic at times while giving the parched region its first real drenching this year.

As of midday, the downpours had forced scattered minor mudslides and road closures in the northern and eastern reaches of the county but had led to no significant damage, according to the National Weather Service. Precipitation amounts by then ranged from several hundredths of an inch along the coast to several inches inland.

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PHOTOS: Storm Soaks San Diego

Over a 24-hour period ending in the late morning, the NWS recorded 2.86 inches of precipitation at Palomar Observatory; 2.23 in Birch Hill; 1.45 in Oak Grove; 1.37 at Henshaw Dam; 1.34 in Valley Center; 1.16 in Julian; 0.99 at Lake Wohlford; 0.98 on Mount Laguna; 0.93 on Volcan Mountain; 0.9 in Santa Ysabel; 0.84 in Barona and at Lake Cuyamaca; 0.78 in Warner Springs; 0.63 on Otay Mountain; and 0.55 in Descanso.

Farther west, the totals included 0.97 in Escondido and Fallbrook; 0.67 in Oceanside and at Ramona Airport; 0.66 in Bonsall; 0.54 in Rancho Bernardo; 0.47 in Poway; 0.46 in Carlsbad; 0.33 in Solana Beach; 0.32 in Mission Valley; 0.31 in La Mesa; 0.3 in Flinn Springs and at Montgomery Field; 0.25 in Harbison Canyon and at Lindbergh Field; and 0.14 at Brown Field.

The cloudbursts — which have been few and far between in recent months – – ushered in some all-too-familiar rainy-day headaches on local commuter routes.

Between midnight and noon, the California Highway Patrol logged 236 accidents, as compared with the 50-75 the agency generally handles over a full day of fair weather. The wrecks led to widespread congestion but resulted in no reports of serious injuries.

Showers and strong winds were expected to continue through the weekend. Some slushy snow was likely to accumulate on the county’s highest peaks, NWS meteorologist Alex Tardy said.

To help residents and merchants deal with the storm, the San Diego Fire- Rescue Department made available a limited number of sandbags at fire stations in Ocean Beach, the Midway area, Pacific Beach, Kearny Mesa, San Ysidro, Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Tierrasanta, Rancho Penasquitos, Santa Luz and Pacific Highlands.

The empty sacks — users are responsible for filling them, using beach sand if so desired — also are available from lifeguard stations in Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores and Pacific Beach.

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