San Diego River at highest level since 2010

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Tuesday’s round two had already left Mission Valley flooded in a number of places, including the Fashion Valley Mall parking garage.

All morning, there was swift flowing water on the normally placid San Diego River. 

Tuesday night, at the notorious dip in front of Fashion Valley Mall, the river crested at 11 and a half feet, it’s highest level in five years.

The result? Major flooding on the ground level of the mall’s parking garage.

More on that in a moment, because while the owner’s of more than a dozen vehicle weren’t very happy, the flooding also raises a significant safety issue if people don’t heed the barricades up on both sides of the river.

Before we could physically get to this woman about the obvious danger, she was almost waist deep in the rushing water and clearly at risk of losing her life. She told me after she had wisely turned around that like many of the foreign students at an international school on the south side of the river, Camino Del Rio, she doesn’t have a car.  

On most days, the students take the trolley to the fashion valley transit center and walk across the dip.  she told me in tears she felt she had no choice but to try to cross.  

We emphasized that her class wasn’t nearly as important as her life. A sentiment echoed by Bill Harris, spokesperson for City Stormwater and Transportation.

"If you see standing water turn around if you see flowing water don’t go near it, only takes a couple of inches to knock you off your feet a couple more and the car flows away, this isn’t something to play around with," Harris said.

Harris was also in Mission Valley to speak to us about the flood measures the city has taken here over the years, while also pointing out the Fashion Valley Mall parking lot is designed to flood.

"We have roads here designed to overtop fences with hinges for debris, designs so the river has a place to flow basements like the garage the river has to have a place to flow when it rains like this," Harris said.

What upset the cars owners was what they said was a lack of warning from the mall about how quickly the ground level was filling up with water.

Categories: KUSI