Rush of sewage from Tijuana expected to trigger flooding in Imperial Beach

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. -- Imperial Beach residents braced for impact Saturday as hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of trash and water were set to come rushing across the border from Tijuana.

“I had horseback riders out here who had helicopters circling 100 feet over their heads over a megaphone telling them to evacuate,” said Jessica Winne, the owner of a ranch that offers horseback rides near Imperial Beach called Pony Land. The ranch sits only a block or so from the area that's expected to be hit hardest by the flooding.

“With all our little goats and piggies, and donkeys and stuff, we got our little petting zoo ready to go,” Winne said.

Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina tweeted a series of messages Friday afternoon, calling the sewage flow a “Never ending horrific pollution on border beaches with no end in sight.”

The tweet was in reference to a years-long struggle to limit waste coming across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Home owners in the area were given a notice via email that for the past two days, Mexican officials had tried removing large trees that were blocking their main sewer lines. The notice warned residents of a possible large volume of sewage water that could come through once the trees were clear.

The tree removal could result in flash floods in the Imperial Beach area.

“It’s usually just the road that floods here,” Winne said. “We’re hoping for the best, but we have somebody staying overnight to give us hourly updates.”

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