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CHP logs 514 accidents between San Diego, Temecula as Pacific storm pummels region


Last updated 3/1/2014 at Noon

The powerful Pacific storm that dropped more than five inches of rain on parts of San Diego County, wreaking havoc on area roadways, was expected to weaken tonight, but showers could trail across the area throughout the rest of the weekend.

Over a 24-hour period ending at 10 a.m., the National Weather Service recorded 5.14 inches of rain at Palomar Mountain; 4.35 at Lake Cuyamaca; 3.25 in Julian; 3.04 in Oak Grove; 2.93 on Mount Laguna; 2.73 in Ramona; 2.57 in Descanso; 2.25 in Alpine; 2.05 in Santa Ysabel; 1.86 in Valley Center; 1.47 in Potrero; 1.26 in Ranchita; 1.20 in Fallbrook; 1.06 in San Marcos; and 1.04 in Escondido.

Less than an inch fell over the same period of time in Santee, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, La Mesa Rancho San Diego, Campo, San Felipe, Agua Caliente Canebrake and Ocotillo Wells.

Along the coast, 1.42 inches of rain fell in Vista; 1.28 at the Carlsbad Airport; 1.19 at the Oceanside Airport; 1.04 at Miramar; 1.02 at Brown Field; .96 in Chula Vista; .78 at Montgomery Field; .64 in Del Mar; .56 in National City; and .52 at Lindbergh Field. The showers also brought some rainy-day pile-ups on local roadways.

Between 12:01 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday, the California Highway Patrol logged 514 accidents on freeways and in unincorporated areas in San Diego County and Temecula. On a fair weather day, the agency on average handles 50-75 crashes.

Roadway flooding was reported this morning on northbound Interstate 5 at Sea World Drive, in the southbound lanes near state Route 163, on southbound Interstate 15 at the Citracado Parkway off-ramp and on northbound state Route 163 near the eastbound Friars Road exit, according to the CHP.

Huffstatler Road near Chico in Rainbow was closed due to flooding, the county Department of Public Works reported.

NWS forecasters said locally heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are expected through this evening along the coast, in the valleys and in mountain areas below 6,000 feet, but should lighten late tonight. Additional rainfall of up to 4 inches in the mountains and 1 inch near the coast is possible.

Large swells, dangerous surf of up to 15 feet and strong rip currents along San Diego County's beaches were also expected. Forecasters said the surf combined with high tides, wind and rainfall runoff would likely result in widespread, but minor coastal flooding that could cause property and structural damage.

Coastal residents should be on the lookout for rising water, and should take action to protect life and property, a NWS statement said.

A NWS coastal flood warning will remain in effect until 1 a.m. Sunday and a high surf advisory is set to expire at 4 a.m. Monday.

In San Diego County's valleys and mountains, downpours soaking newly saturated soil will continue to raise the risk of flash flooding through tonight, the weather service said.

A flash flood watch is in effect through late tonight. Coastal mountain slopes near and downstream from recently burned areas and low-lying areas with poor drainage are especially vulnerable to flash flooding, according to the NWS.


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