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Record-Breaking Winter Storms Bring Unprecedented Flooding to San Diego

Winter storms in San Diego are rare, so Monday’s heavy rain was surprising. This was the third Pacific storm since Friday, but the first two were mild. However, the third storm was the strongest and set a record for the wettest January day in San Diego.

Mayor Todd Gloria declared a state of emergency due to severe rain and flash floods. A high school was used as a shelter for about 100 affected homes. Videos showed cars being swept away by fast-moving water.

Tijuana and northern Baja California were also hit hard. U.S. Customs and Border Protection and San Diego Fire Department rescued eight migrants from the Tijuana River Valley.

Heavy rains from Pacific storms result in rescues, road closures, and significant disruptions, highlighting the impact of extreme weather events.

In the Southcrest neighborhood, firefighters rescued residents from flooding in their apartment complex. No injuries were reported.

Navy Base San Diego experienced flooding, leading officials to advise personnel to stay put. Mayor Gloria asked people to stay off the roads, and nearby schools closed on Tuesday.

Mayor Gloria said the rain was more than expected. He plans to request federal aid from the governor. The American Red Cross set up a shelter for 375 people, offering meals and support. Some homeless centers were relocated.

Flooding was common in usual spots like Mission Valley and Ocean Beach. State Route 78 in north San Diego County was closed due to flooding.

The storm, drawing moisture from the Pacific, caused significant effects. Meteorologist Brandt Maxwell explained that it formed an “atmospheric river,” producing heavy rain. The storm brought San Diego’s seasonal rainfall close to normal.

Maxwell said more rain is needed to meet predictions of a rainy El Niño year. San Diego’s rainy season ends in March, so more storms are unlikely soon.

Mayor Gloria noted that extreme weather, fueled by climate change, is becoming the new normal, with unusual weather patterns affecting various parts of the country.

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