SAN DIEGO — As Tropical Storm Hilary moved northbound across San Diego County Sunday, people in the South Bay were up against gusty winds, flooded roads, and overflowing contaminated water from the border.
“Unless absolutely critical, please stay off the roads,” shared Captain Josh Sanders with the Chula Vista Fire Department.
Yet, not all heeded this warning Sunday as flooding from Tropical Storm Hilary left many cars stuck. It’s an easily avoidable but common issue that kept emergency crews on standby.
“We’ve added an extra ambulance to address increase call volume. We’ve also prepositioned water rescue assets as well as personnel,” shared Fire Captain Sanders.
The infamous Hollister and Monument Road intersection along the Tijuana River Valley was just one location that once again left drivers with a decision; to turn around or attempt to roll right on through.
Getting stuck or caught up in in stagnant or flowing water wasn’t the only concern, however.
Water flowing from the Tijuana River has pushed debris and trash flowing from Mexico into San Diego County, meaning contaminated water could have negative health impacts for people and animals in the surrounding area.
Athena Walker and Sasha Benedickt keep their horses at local ranches in the Tijuana River Valley. They say the threat of disease from polluted water is a common occurrence when these storms pass through.
“It really does affect the horses, their health. We’ve got infections, diseases, from standing in this water,” Walker said.
Residents say contamination along their stables is an ongoing issue in need of drastic measures, to keep polluted water at bay.
“The clean-up crew needs to come in, and really get everything cleaned out so the burns could actually do their job and hold the water in,” shared Benedickt.