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FOX 5 San Diego

San Diego River floods nearby streets

By Kasia Gregorczyk,


SAN DIEGO — Widespread rain across San Diego arrived along with a flood warning for the coast, inland and mountain areas until 9 p.m. Wednesday.

“We watched the river rise all morning. The area was dry early on,” Lt. Ric Stell, River Rescue Team leader with San Diego Lifeguards, told FOX 5.

Just a few hours of rain Tuesday made a big change along the San Diego River.

Lifeguards had eight units with the river rescue team out patrolling and clearing the area proactively since the early morning.

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“If there are people that are around and in the river, we’re making sure that they are exiting,” Stell said.

He said thankfully, no rescues needed to be made Tuesday.

The area surrounding Fashion Valley Mall is notorious for flooding, including the parking structures first level that sits lower than the height the river reached, which was about 9.5 feet by the evening. Avenida Del Rio and Fashion Valley Road were two of several streets flooded and blocked off along the path of the river.

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“Obviously it’s flooded, it’s impassible,” Stell said. “You wouldn’t be able to get any kind of a car even a high clearance vehicle through this. You don’t want to be walking through it, you don’t want to be near it.”

With rain continuing to hit the area, river levels are expected to crest around midnight at 11.3 feet. San Diego River levels crested at nearly 13 feet during a recent storm on Jan. 16.

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