Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Heavy rain floods Fallbrook, Bonsall streets, closes schools


Last updated 2/19/2019 at 10:36am

North County Fire

According to North County Fire, Brandon Road and East Mission Road is closed due to flooding.

Update: Feb. 14, 5:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service said the flood warning for San Diego County is being allowed to expire at 5:15 p.m. The NWS reports the widespread, heavy rain has ended, with only residual light to moderate rain occurring over the mountains and parts of the desert.

Flooding is no longer expected to pose a significant threat, but people should remain alert for residual standing water in poorly drained locales this evening.

Today's rainfall set more than a half-dozen precipitation records in the San Diego County area, according to the NWS.

The historic tallies include 10.1 inches at Palomar Observatory (topping the prior milestone of 9.58 inches, set in 1991); 4.02 in Ramona (2.15, 1995); 3.75 in Campo (2.12, 1954); 3.01 in Vista (2.58, 1980); 2.94 in Alpine (2.6, 1995); 2.68 in Borrego (1.73, 1980); and 1.28 at Oceanside Harbor (1.03, 1980).

Update: Feb. 14, 4 p.m.

Heavy rainfall and driving winds lashed San Diego County today, prompting widespread flooding, fallen trees, mudslides and other storm-related hazards across the soaked region. One report indicated that Fallbrook had received more than 4.6 inches of rain today alone.

All that water wreaked havoc on Fallbrook, Bonsall, and Rainbow today and forced the closure Vallecitos Elementary School and Fallbrook Union High School District schools - Fallbrook High, Ivy High, and Oasis High - were dismissed at 12 p.m. The district announced that because of the President's Day holidays, students won't return until Tuesday.

Bonsall Unified School District schools remained on normal early dismissal time, as did all Fallbrook Unified Elementary School District schools. Those school districts will be closed on Friday, Feb. 15.

"Due to the intense storm – which has led to power outages, flooding, road closures, and dangerous travel conditions – schools in the following districts will be closed tomorrow, Feb. 15," a statement made by the San Diego County Department of Education read.

There were reports of horses being stranded and in need of evacuation in Bonsall, and travel from Fallbrook to De Luz was halted with road closures due to flooded roadways.

The San Diego County Department of Public works reported that Couser Canyon is closed at Pala Loma and Highway 76 due to flooding.

A video shared with the Village News by resident Chad Lansberry showed the amount of water flowing through the Santa Margarita River causing closed roads throughout the area.


Original Story

FALLBROOK - The heaviest rainfall from a powerful storm system is beginning to have an effect on the Fallbrook, Bonsall, and Pala area this morning and a flash flood watch is in effect until this evening.

Trees are being reported as downed all over Fallbrook and Bonsall and flooding, reported at Vallecitos Elementary School in Rainbow and slick roads may have contributed to the crash of a fire engine that crashed into a ditch early this morning, sending three firefighters to the hospital.

According to several news outlets and CalFire San Diego, the fire engine, Deer Springs Fire Department Engine 11, was on its side in the ditch at N. Old Highway 395 and Camino Del Rey. The firefighters were taken a hospital to be evaluated for non-life threating injuries.

David Toney was generating a list of road closures and warnings for the Bonsall area sourced from the California Highway Patrol incident list and posting them for residents in the Facebook group, Friends of Bonsall.

According to authorities, flooding and debris was reported at:

- W. Dougherty Street and De Luz Road due to flooding

- Sandia Creek Drive and De Luz Road due to flooding

- 1077 S Mission Road due to flooding

- Via Del Robles and Gird Road due to flooding

- De Luz Murrieta Road to the county line, due to flooding

- Circle R Drive and Old Highway 395 due to mud, rock

- Brandon Road and East Mission Road due to flooding as are the intersections of E. Mission with Iowa Street and Santa Margarita Drive.

The NWS issued a flash flood watch that will remain until this evening throughout the county. A wind advisory will remain in effect in the county mountains until 4 a.m. Saturday.

Rainfall rates today are expected to reach 0.50 to 1 inch per hour everywhere except desert areas during the peak of the storm, which will last from about 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and could be higher than that during isolated thunderstorms, NWS meteorologist Miguel Miller said.

Moderate flooding is expected during the same period for the Santa Margarita River near Camp Pendleton.

In a 24-hour period ending around 3 a.m. today, the highest precipitation tallies included 3.44 inches at Birch Hill; 3.12 in the Palomar area; 2.05 in Fallbrook; 1.75 in Oceanside; 1.65 in Pine Valley; 1.54 in Julian; 1.48 in Valley Center; 1.40 in Harbison Canyon 1.33 in Santa Ysabel; 1.28 at Mount Laguna; 1.1 in Carlsbad; 1.08 in Escondido; 1.05 in Ramona; 1.03 in Santee; 0.99 in Encinitas; 0.81 in La Mesa and Solana Beach; 0.74 near Poway and Fashion Valley; 0.59 at Montgomery Field and the Tijuana Estuary; 0.54 at Brown Field; and 0.51 at Lindbergh Field and San Ysidro, according to the weather service.

The highest precipitation total for the deserts were San Felipe, with 0.75 of an inch, 0.45 in Borrego Palm Canyon and 0.34 near Coyote Creek.

Jeff Pack photo

Camino Del Rey was closed at San Luis Rey Downs due to heavy flooding.

Coastal and inland-valley areas are expected to get anywhere between 1.5 to 2.3 inches of rainfall today while the mountains are forecast to receive between 5.5 and 7 inches of rainfall and between 1 and 3 inches is expected in the county deserts, forecasters said.

Snow levels will remain above 8,000 feet during the day, then drop to around 6,000 feet tonight, Miller said.

South-to-southwest winds of 25 to 35 mph, with gusts reaching 55 mph, are expected late this afternoon through this evening, according to the NWS.

The most steady and intense rain is expected this morning through early this afternoon. Then the storm will die down by this evening, Miller said.

A chance of scattered showers will return Friday evening and remain through Monday afternoon, the meteorologist said.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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