Storm prompts North County schools to close Friday

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FALLBROOK, Calif. — Some schools in North County were dismissed early Thursday due to the winter storm, and now district officials say many will stay closed through Friday. The following districts will not hold classes Friday, Feb. 15:
  • Bonsall Unified School District
  • Fallbrook Union Elementary School District
  • Fallbrook Union High School District
  • Julian Union High School District
  • Julian Union School District
  • Mountain Empire Unified School District
  • Vallecitos School District
The closures kicked off with a series of early dismissals Thursday. “Due to the intense storm, the area around Vallecitos Elementary School is flooded. As a result, school will be canceled today,” San Diego County Office of Education spokeswoman Music Watson said. Parents were asked to pick up their children from the school. Three schools in the Fallbrook Union High School District — Fallbrook High School, Ivy High School, and Oasis High School — will be dismissed at noon, Watson said. “District staff members will stay with children until they are able to be taken home,” she said. “We will share additional updates, including details about tomorrow’s school schedule, as the situation unfolds.” Mountain Empire Unified School District is closing all schools one hour early Thursday due to road conditions and flash flooding in the area, Watson announced at 10:58 a.m. Santa Margarita and Stuart Mesa schools in the Oceanside Unified School District were also closing early. “Both schools are located on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, where leadership released all non-essential employees at 9:30 this morning due to several road closures on base, base exits closures, and potential flooding. Notification has already gone out and dismissal has begun,” Watson said.

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Heavy rainfall from a powerful storm system doused San Diego County Thursday morning, prompting several road closures amid a flash flood warning, according to the National Weather Service. The NWS issued a flash flood watch that will remain in effect until Thursday evening throughout the county. A wind advisory will remain in effect in the county mountains until 4 a.m. Saturday. The weather service also issued a flash flood warning that will last until 11:45 a.m. Thursday for northern San Diego County, including Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Encinitas, Poway, Del Mar, Fallbrook and Escondido.

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Two-day precipitation totals as of 9 a.m. included 6.64 inches in the Palomar area; 6.12 inches at Birch Hill; 4.02 in Fallbrook; 3.22 in Julian; 2.85 in Valley Center; 2.66 in Pine Valley; 2.62 in Oceanside; 2.59 in Santa Ysabel; 2.45 at Mount Laguna; 1.90 in Ramona; 1.65 in Carlsbad; 1.61 in Escondido; 1.42 in Santee; 1.37 in Encinitas; 1.20 in Poway; 1.08 in La Mesa; 1.03 in Solana Beach; 0.91 at Montgomery Field; 0.86 near Fashion Valley; 0.67 at the Tijuana Estuary and Brown Field; 0.61 at Lindbergh Field; and 0.59 in San Ysidro, according to the weather service. The highest precipitation total for the deserts were San Felipe with 1.65 inches, 1.16 near Coyote Creek, 1.18 in Borrego Palm Canyon and 0.66 in Borrego Springs. Coastal and inland-valley areas are expected to get anywhere between 1.5 to 2.3 inches of rainfall Thursday while the mountains are forecast to receive between 5.5 and 7 inches of rainfall; between 1 and 3 inches is expected in the county deserts, forecasters said. Snow levels will remain above 8,000 feet during the day, then drop to around 6,000 feet Thursday evening, Miller said. South-to-southwest winds of 25 to 35 mph, with gusts reaching 55 mph, are expected to continue through Thursday evening, according to the NWS. The most steady and intense rain is expected Thursday morning through early Thursday afternoon. Then the storm will die down by Thursday evening, Miller said. A chance of scattered showers will return Friday evening and remain through Monday afternoon, the meteorologist said.

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