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Storm Wreaks Havoc on Morning Commute in San Diego County

No one was seriously injured in most of the crashes.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

A powerful Pacific storm wreaked havoc on this morning's commute, contributing to dozens of spinouts, hydroplaning incidents and other crashes throughout San Diego County.

As of 8 a.m., 116 crash reports were received by the California Highway Patrol, which normally handles about 50-75 crash reports during a full, 24-hour fair weather day. A total of 52 crash reports were received before 6 a.m., leaving 64 crash reports called in during the height of morning rush hour, the CHP reported.

No one was seriously injured in most of the crashes.

The National Weather Service reported at 7 a.m. that since Thursday evening, 0.49 inches of rain had fallen in Oceanside; 0.32 in Escondido; 0.10 in Clairemont; and 0.16 at Lindbergh Field. Also reported was 0.52 inches at Palomar Mountain and a whopping 1.1 at El Capitan Dam.

The weather service said showers and strong winds will continue into much of the weekend, though the heaviest rainfall is expected this morning into this afternoon, with rainfall rates in excess of one inch an hour possible today. The agency also said thunderstorms were possible today.

A flash flood watch was in effect until late Saturday night for coastal, valley and mountains areas. Mountain areas near where the Chariot, General and San Felipe fires occurred are especially susceptible to debris flow.

Beach areas also are subject to a coastal flood warning today because high surf is expected. In issuing the coastal flood warning from 6 a.m. today to 1 a.m. Sunday, the NWS said the local surf will build to 8 to 12 feet with sets to 15 feet by Saturday afternoon.

A high surf advisory will be in effect from 4 a.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Monday.

"Coastal flooding could cause damage to beach-front property if proper precautions are not taken," the agency said. "Large and rough surf, along with strong rip currents, will create hazardous conditions for swimmers and surfs."

Residents and business owners in the city of San Diego are eligible for up to 10 free sandbags from area fire and lifeguard stations, while supplies last. Sand is not included, though city officials said residents and business owners were free to fill up their bags with beach sand.

For mariners off the coast of San Diego County, a small craft advisory and a gale warning for fierce winds are both in effect today.

Strong winds are also expected throughout the rest of the county today, particularly in mountain and desert areas, where sustained south to southwest winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and widespread gusts up to 60 mph are expected. Isolated gusts of up to 75 mph in the most wind-prone areas are also likely, according to the weather service.

A high wind warning for the mountains and deserts is in effect until 6 a.m. Saturday.

A slightly less serious wind advisory is in effect for coastal and valley areas until 8 p.m. Saturday. According to the weather service, coastal and valley areas will likely see sustained south to southwest winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts up to 40 mph.

—City News Service

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