SAN DIEGO – A powerful Pacific storm buffeted the San Diego area today with heavy rain and stiff winds, vexing motorists in particularly drenched areas while delivering a healthy dose of moisture to the parched region.
As of early evening, the downpours had forced scattered minor mudslides and road closures across the county but had caused no reported significant damage. Precipitation amounts by then ranged from less than one-tenth of an inch along the coast to more than five inches inland, according to the National Weather Service.
Over a 24-hour period ending shortly after 6 p.m., the NWS recorded 5.12 inches of precipitation at Palomar Observatory; 4.33 in Birch Hill; 3.28 at Henshaw Dam; 2.83 in Oak Grove; 2.68 in Valley Center; 2.22 in Julian; 2.05 on Volcan Mountain; 1.96 at Lake Cuyamaca; 1.94 in Santa Ysabel; 1.81 in Barona; 1.74 at Lake Wohlford and in Warner Springs; 1.66 on Mount Laguna; 1.29 on Otay Mountain; and 1.15 in Descanso.
Farther west, the totals included 1.86 at Ramona Airport; 1.81 in Fallbrook; 1.66 in Bonsall; 1.61 in Escondido; 1.43 in Oceanside; 1.09 in Rancho Bernardo; 1.05 in Poway; 0.9 in La Mesa; 0.84 in Carlsbad; 0.82 in Flinn Springs; 0.77 at Montgomery Field; 0.67 in Mission Valley; 0.62 in Solana Beach; 0.53 at Lindbergh Field; 0.49 at Brown Field; and 0.36 in Harbison Canyon.
The showers — a definite local rarity in recent months — ushered in some all-too-familiar rainy-day headaches on local commuter routes.
Between midnight and noon, the California Highway Patrol logged 236 accidents, as compared with the 50-75 the agency generally handles over a full day of fair weather. The wrecks led to widespread congestion but resulted in no reports of serious injuries.
Showers and strong winds were expected to continue through the weekend. Some slushy snow was likely to accumulate on the county’s highest peaks late tonight and early Saturday morning, NWS meteorologist Alex Tardy said.
To help residents and merchants deal with the storm, the San Diego Fire- Rescue Department distributed sandbags 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 also were made available at lifeguard stations in Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores and Pacific Beach, with users responsible for filling them, using beach sand if so desired.
The rain wiped out all the matches at the 125th annual Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Play is scheduled to resume at 8 a.m. Saturday.