Sewage contamination warning expands to all of Imperial Beach

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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. -- The county has expanded beach closures near the US-Mexico border to include all of Imperial Beach as a rainstorm sends urban runoff and contaminated sewage flowing into the ocean.

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health issued the first closure Nov. 29 and expanded it to all of Imperial Beach due to this week's rainfall. The county said sewage-contaminated water from the Tijuana River was flowing into the US, putting swimmers, surfers and other beachgoers at risk.

The closure will remain in effect until the water meets state health standards.

Residents can call the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission at 619-662-7600 for information on pollution in the Tijuana River.

On Wednesday, FOX 5 spoke with surfers who said they knew about the dangers associated with contaminated runoff, but planned to paddle out anyway.

The rain also flooded low-lying areas around the Tijuana River Valley, including Hollister Street.

"This is nothing new for us, we're kind of used to it," one Chula Vista resident said. "It's just a matter of driving safe."

“I try to go around as best as possible but, I mean, there's nothing really that we can do right now," another driver told FOX 5. "It kind of sucks. I have friends that have lower cars and everything and they get flooded.”

The intersection of Airway Road and La Media Road in Otay Mesa was closed due to flooding.

Crews will pump the water from the intersection once the storm clears, said Anthony Santacroce with the City of San Diego.

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