Coastal rain causes problems in La Jolla

Rainwater combined with overflowing drains has water running onto the beach in La Jolla Shores. Photo: Dave Schwab
Rainwater combined with overflowing drains has water running onto the beach in La Jolla Shores. Photo: Dave Schwab

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By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

Rain expected to continue through today and into tomorrow is causing flooding, sewage backup and traffic problems in La Jolla.

Early Tuesday morning police were diverting traffic away from Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla at Pottery Canyon due downed trees. City work crews were busy cutting up the trees to remove them about 8:30 a.m., and police were turning traffic around at the stoplight to allow them to complete their work. The road reopened a short time later.

In La Jolla Shores on Tuesday, two manhole-covered sewer mains at the end of Avenida de la Playa near the boat launch ramp were backed up with overflowing sewage running down the street and into the ocean.

Although no signs were evident on the beach there, San Diego Lifeguard spokesman Lt. Andy Lerum said a surf advisory has been issued for coastal areas.

“There is an advisory out that water is contaminated because of the runoff,” he said. “There is no closure, just an advisory.”

Lerum added that people are being cautioned by lifeguards who are suggesting they get out of the water because of the potential danger to their health.

“Everything that gets in the street and creek ends up in the ocean,” Lerum said. “During flood events, the normal dry season (stormwater) diversion system is overwhelmed and contaminants go down the culvert and overflow into the ocean, which is how the system was designed.”

Meteorologist Tina Stall of the National Weather Service in Rancho Bernardo said at midmorning Tuesday one to three inches of rain has fallen along the San Diego coastline since the recent storm began Friday morning. She said inclement weather will continue for awhile.

“It should pick up in intensity tonight with the main focus of the moisture shifting down here to San Diego and go through a good portion of the day tomorrow before tapering off and moving out by Thursday,” she said.

   
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