SAN DIEGO – The frigid winter storm is leaving our coastal communities left to face dangerous surf, coastal flooding and water pollution, especially for places like Imperial Beach, where recent storms have poured urban runoff from Mexico into the ocean.
Rain or shine, beaches in the South Bay are closed for most of the year, all as a result of cross border pollution. The series of storms are now only adding to the issue.
Onlookers Wednesday, took on the spectacle of the chaos along the coast of Imperial Beach from afar. High surf, cold temperatures and poor water quality is keeping resident Nick Giardina at bay.
“It’s a beautiful day for looking at the water, but not a good day to get in there,” he said.
A wave of storms, now also sending more sewage from Mexico to beaches in the South Bay, a decades old issue Mayor Paloma Aguirre is focused on ending.
“We can’t keep playing this whack-a-mole every time it rains because one of the pipelines causes a sewage spill. They have to make significant investment in their infrastructure citywide,” Aguirre said.
This comes as the city settles a years old lawsuit over Tijuana sewage spills against the feds, as officials vow to end ongoing pollution, streaming into southern portions of San Diego County. It’s a victory the mayor suggests may lead to a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Even though it’s not very evident right now it’s the most progress we’ve ever made because we sued the federal government. They came to the table, and they gave us the funding and it’s making its way through its legal process,” Aguirre shared with FOX 5.
Meanwhile, strong winds, elevated surf, and storm surge are also hitting the coast, a dangerous recipe for flooding along parking lots and boardwalks, now corroding areas near Descanso Ave. in Imperial Beach.
A high surf advisory is sticking around for our coastal communities until early Thursday, with the highest surf hitting the southern portions of the county where waves reach anywhere from six to ten feet, with sets up to 14 feet.