Thursday’s storm just a warm-up for main event

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The leading edge of a strong Pacific storm doused the
San Diego area Thursday with moderate to heavy rainfall, setting the stage for a
soggy and blustery weekend.

By early evening, the preliminary moisture totals from the unsettled
atmospheric system ranged from a few hundredths of an inch toward the coast to
over an inch in a few East County locales, according to the National Weather
Service.

The cloudbursts played some predictable havoc on the county's commuter
routes. Between midnight and 4:30 p.m., the California Highway Patrol logged
242 accidents, as compared with the 50-75 crashes to which it generally
responds during an entire day under clear skies.

Up to 3 inches of rainfall in coastal and valley areas, 3 to 5 inches in
the mountains and up to an inch in the deserts will pose a strong threat of
flooding and other road hazards through much of the weekend, meteorologists
advised.

A flash-flood watch for coastal, valley and mountain areas was scheduled
from midnight to Saturday afternoon, cautioning motorists against trying to
ford inundated roadways, quite possibly including some in Mission Valley.

The weather service issued a high-wind warning for mountain and desert
areas from 1 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Saturday due to the prospect of south-
southwest winds of 25 to 40 mph and gusts of up to 65 mph.

The storm also is likely to generate large, rough surf and strong rip
currents along local beaches. The NWS posted a beach-hazards statement,
effective from late tonight to Sunday afternoon.

In preparation for the storm, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department
announced it had a limited number of sandbags available to residents at fire
stations in Ocean Beach, the Midway area, Pacific Beach, Kearny Mesa, San
Ysidro, Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Tierrasanta, Rancho Penasquitos, Santa
Luz and Pacific Highlands.

The empty sacks — users are responsible for filling them, using beach
sand if so desired — also are available from lifeguard stations in Ocean
Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores and Pacific Beach. People can take up to
10 at a time.

Categories: KUSI