San Diego prepares for stormy weather over New Year’s Eve

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego is preparing for stormy weather over the next week and leaders are encouraging area residents to take proactive steps to prevent flooding.

According to the city statement, the Stormwater Department will be temporarily placing “no parking” signs in low-lying or flood-risk areas, cleaning storm drains and inlets with a history of debris buildup, street sweeping to reduce trash and pollutants from entering our waterways and monitoring more than 46,000 storm drains citywide for any issues.

On an individual level, city and county residents can assist by:
— Sweeping and picking up trash, leaves, grass clippings and other debris that collect around storm drains and curb gutters near your home;
— Keeping the lid securely closed on trash and recycle bins when placing them out on the street for collection and placing them several feet away from the curb to not impede stormwater;
— Turning off irrigation to save water;
— Knowing safe routes to and from your home should flooding occur;
— Slowing down and not attempting to traverse floodwaters; and
— Not lifting manhole covers or grates in the event of flooding.

Additionally, sandbags are available in limited supply and can be picked up at nine recreation centers centrally located in each San Diego City Council District. Residents with identification showing proof of residency can receive up to 10 empty sandbags.

Residents should pick them up today, as the centers will be closed Saturday, Dec. 31, through Monday, Jan. 2, for the holiday.

As the sandbags are not pre-filled, residents are encouraged to also plan to buy sand at local hardware stores, landscape suppliers or wherever else sand can be purchased.

The locations to pick up sandbags are Standley Recreation Center, Robb Athletic Field, Golden Hill Recreation Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center, Scripps Ranch Recreation Center, North Clairemont Recreation Center, Allied Gardens Recreation Center, San Ysidro Community Activity Center and City Heights Recreation Center.

During the rains, crews from the city’s Storm Patrol will be monitoring areas throughout the city and responding to incidents, such as temporary flooding and downed  trees or branches.

Residents can report events, such as flooding or downed trees, by using the Get It Done application or by calling 619-527-7500. If it is a life- threatening emergency, call 911.

Rain could dampen the spirits of revelers on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, according to the National Weather Service.

“A pretty strong storm is moving south right now from Northern California and will bring rain to Southern California starting Saturday night,” said NWS forecaster Mark Moede. “It will probably only bring light rain during the day on Saturday, but the real time of concern for revelers will be Saturday from 8 p.m. until 3 a.m. Sunday morning.”

Moede characterized the incoming winter storm as being “of the atmospheric river” variety, bringing heavy rain within a short time.

“The storm will bring some heavy rain and we will have flooding in low-lying areas prone to it late in the evening, from three quarters of an inch to as much as an inch-and-a-quarter of rain in some spots in a matter of three or four hours,” he said.

The meteorologist said the storm will move out of the area on Sunday adding, “It will be mostly dry but breezy to very windy in all areas after that.”

Moede cautioned boaters against going out on the water on Sunday. “It is going to be very windy out there on Sunday and we are issuing a gale warning for both inner and outer coastal waters. It is not going to be pleasant for any boaters out there with extremely windy conditions and choppy seas. Their best bet is to stay in harbor.”

The forecaster said a second storm is expected to move into San Diego County on Monday afternoon. “It will not be as strong as this first storm, but we are expecting as much as a quarter of an inch to three-quarters-of-an-inch of rain,” he said.

An official flood warning was issued for Saturday night between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. from the National Weather Service of San Diego.

The county of San Diego and Cal Fire are offering sandbags to residents and businesses in unincorporated areas as another round of storms prepares to hit the region on New Year’s Eve, with the storm expected to bring heavy rain and high winds.

And, after the New Year’s storm, weather forecasters say more rain and wind may arrive in the middle of next week.

To forestall any potential flooding or soil erosion, the county is urging people in unincorporated areas to stop by one of several fire stations to fill sandbags or get bags. Residents are urged to call ahead to check the hours of operation of fire stations and to see if supplies are still available, and to bring their own shovels to fill sandbags.

A list of fire stations where sandbags are available is at

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