Flooding concerns for community in Tijuana River Valley

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – This El Nino season is threatening over 54,000 homes in San Diego and most of these homes are in 100 year flood zones.

The Tijuana River Valley is considered one of the most at-risk areas and people living in that area are doing everything they can to prepare.

In the valley, the message is clear.

"Please have your evacuation plans ready to go now and do not wait until the last minute to evacuate your animals," said Mayor Serge Dedina of Imperial Beach.

The farming and ranching community next to the border is prone to flooding.

San Diego Lifeguard unites are patrolling the area.

"The area down here is very hazardous because you have flood waters, raging waters and environmental concerns out here because the trash and some of the things that are in the river valley and in any storm water throughout San Diego County," said Troy Keach of San Diego Fire Rescue Lifeguards.

The Tijuana River has already caused problems this week.

The water rose so high Tuesday, it shut down Monument Road.

Wednesday morning, the water had gone down.

One resident, Eric Johnson, came by to check the river Wednesday.

"I come down here because it’s so nice to walk the dogs.  It’s really nice country," he said.

No one out here wants to relive the nightmare from the flooding that happened in 2008.

Many horses did not make it out of the high waters and the community was devastated.

Aside from the flooding, the sewage tainted runoff was another concern.

Trash flows down the Tijuana River, which drains into the ocean.

"There’s an advisory for avoiding water contact at all our beaches in San Diego County.  Every river stream, pipe is flowing so it’s really important for surfers and swimmers to stay out of the water," Mayor Dedina said.

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