Thanksgiving 2019 will be remembered in San Diego County for an early winter storm, bringing record rainfall, street flooding, water rescues, dozens of traffic accidents and snow in the local mountains.
The National Weather Service issued multiple weather advisories during the day including a Flash Flood Warning, an Urban Flood Advisory, a Marine Weather alert, a Winter Storm Warning for the mountain areas and a beach hazards statement due to high surf, high tides and coastal flooding..
Rainfall totals as of Thanksgiving night ranged from 1 1/4 inch at San Diego International Airport to nearly 3-inches at San Onofre. Most cities in the metro area had recorded between one-and-a-half inches to 2 inches of rain as of 6 p.m. Thursday night. The cities of El Cajon, Escondido, Chula Vista, and Vista set new rainfall records for November. 28th.
Reports of flooding and other storm-related hazards came in from across the county Thursday. San Diego firefighters rescued a driver in Sorrento Valley whose car stalled after attempting to drive through two feet of standing water. San Diego lifeguard rescue teams responded to about 10 incidents in multiple cities where vehicles were trapped in flooded streets, including in San Diego, Chula Vista and National City.
Roads surrounding Fashion Valley were closed as forecasters predicted the San Diego River would reach 8' 2'’ Thursday night which is about 3 feet below flood stage.
There were reports of power outages in various areas of the county Nearly 2,000 homes in East County at one point lost power according to SDG&E.
Flight delays and some cancellations were reported at Lindbergh Field, most associated with snow and storms in the Midwest and East.
By late Thanksgiving afternoon, snow was falling on Mt. Laguna and Palomar Mountain, as well as in Julian and Pine Valley with the snow level expected to drop to 3,000 feet by Thanksgiving night.. Forecasters said some mountain areas could get as much as one foot or even more of snow. The CHP reported hazardous driving conditions with snow and gusty winds.
The stretch of Interstate 5 known as the Grapevine was shut down Thursday morning due to snowy conditions forcing thousands of holiday travelers to find alternate routes.
The National Weather Service in San Diego said the storm was expected to lessen in intensity by Friday afternoon with sunshine forecast for Saturday and Sunday. However, a chance of more rain returns next Wednesday through Friday.
Fatal Crash in North County
A 73-year-old woman was killed and a man was seriously injured on Interstate 15 near Fallbrook Thursday when their vehicle slammed into an ambulance responding to an accident involving a Ford Mustang that spun out out olf control and crashed into the center divider on southbound Interstate 15, south of Mission Road..
While paramedics were caring for the driver of the Mustang and his two juvenile passengers, the driver of a Ford Crown Victoria lost control and crashed into the ambulance. A passenger in the car- a 73-year-old woman -- was killed at the scene, while the driver of the Crown Victoria -- a 66-year-old man from Rancho Cucamonga -- suffered major injuries and was taken to Palomar Medical Center
The ambulance's occupants -- who included the Mustang driver, two female juveniles, two firefighters, a California Highway Patrol officer and other emergency personnel -- were taken to a hospital for complaints of pain.
(Photo credit reporting partner 10News)