Thunderstorms flood roads and homes, trap people in cars across county

SAN DIEGO -- Thunderstorms brought heavy rain, thunder, lightning and flooding to San Diego County Thursday evening.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for southwestern San Diego County until 8:30 p.m. Locations included Chula Vista, El Cajon, National City, La Mesa, Poway, Imperial Beach, Ramona, Coronado, Alpine and portions of the San Diego city limits, including Mission Valley.

Track conditions on the FOX 5 Interactive Radar

Coronado police warned of widespread flooding in their city, where seven to eight cars were fully submerged at 4th Street and Alameda Boulevard, and parts of Silver Strand Boulevard flooded near Coronado Cays.

Chula Vista police also warned of flooded streets and sewer drains and advised residents not to drive.

Drivers were also navigating flooded roadways in the North County, where some people had to abandon their vehicles in the streets of Oceanside and Escondido.

In Carlsbad, heavy rain caused part of a roof to collapse at a child care center and flooded nearby businesses in the same shopping center.

Officials were rescuing drivers who got stuck in their cars across the county. The water rescues ranged from Pacific Highway and Laurel Street in the Embarcadero, where police shut down the intersection, to National City, where 30 people were forced from flooded units in an apartment complex on Delta Street near 43rd Street. Dozens of drivers were forced to abandon their flooded vehicles on 16th Street near National City Boulevard as water rescue teams helped them to safety.

Also in National City, California Highway Patrol closed the right two lanes of state Route 54 and the northbound connector ramp to Interstate 805 so crews could repair drains to reduce flooding.

Meanwhile, power outages left more than 3,000 people in the dark.

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System said flooded tracks were causing delays and detours. As of just before 8 p.m., the Fashion Valley and Plaza Bonita stations were not in service. As of 6:40 p.m., bus bridges were in place for the Orange Line from 47th Street to Park Boulevard and Market Street, the UCSD Blue Line from 8th Street to Park Boulevard and the Sycuan Green Line from County Center/Little Italy to 12th Street and Imperial Avenue.

American Red Cross opened a shelter in National City for people affected by the floods and who do not have a place to stay. The shelter will be at the Paradise Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church located at 2701 East 8th Street. The shelter was anticipated to be open by 9:30 p.m. and will provide food, hydration, personal hygiene items, emotional support and health services.

In the East Village, a homeless shelter was evacuated due to flooding. Nearly 300 evacuees were bussed to SDCCU Stadium, where American Red Cross also provided supplies.

Lightning strikes were spotted around the county.

Video showed the Phoenix Salon on 9th Avenue in downtown San Diego had a couple inches of water throughout the business.