Power line sparks small fire; more storms, high surf on horizon

A power line brought down by Monday’s winter storm at 2:10 p.m. in La Jolla Hermosa sparked a small fire in the garage at 7071 Vista Del Mar.

“Some (power) lines came down outside and landed on the water lines leading into the garage, which overheated the water heater which shorted out and the water heater closet it was in caught fire,” said Maurice Luque, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman. “It was confined to the water heater closet, didn’t extend out into the garage or the house, and was put out in just a few minutes.”

Four fire engines, a fire truck and 25 firefighters responded.

No damage assessment was given. No one was home when the blaze broke out and authorities were alerted to it by an alarm company.

Also, SDG&E spokeswoman Sabra Malone said there were a couple power outages overnight in the La Jolla area depriving 365 customers of service into Tuesday morning. By about 9 a.m. Tuesday, power had been restored to 213 of those customers. Outages were also reported on Monday in the La Jolla Shores and Torrey Pines areas.

As the storm blew out on Tuesday, warnings a high surf advisory was issued. The Weather Service expects another storm to arrive Thursday or Friday, bringing with it a high surf advisory along the coast ifrom 4 a.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. Friday.

Monday’s powerful storm dropped much-needed rain on the region Monday and generated snow flurries in the mountains, high winds and rainy-day commuter chaos.

The Weather Service said rainfall totals for Monday were 1.1 inches in Encinitas, 2.4 in Kearny Mesa, 1.56 at Lindbergh Field, 2.05 in Valley Center, 2.07 in Ramona, 2.48 in Santee, 3.31 in Julian, 4.89 at Lake Cuyamaca and 1.22 in Borrego Springs.

Wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour were likely in the mountains this morning but should drop to 30 miles per hour this afternoon, the Weather Service reported. The desert forecast called for wind gusts of up to 35 mph this morning, dropping to 30 miles per hour this afternoon.

Snow in the mountains was possible at 4,000 feet but little to no accumulation was likely, according to the Weather Service.

Monday’s storm had predictable impacts on local traffic. Between midnight and 10 p.m., the California Highway Patrol logged 476 accidents in the San Diego area, as compared with the 50 to 75 collisions the agency typically responds to during an entire day of dry weather.

Due to potential pollution hazards from runoff, the county Department of Environmental Health issued a routine ocean-contamination warning, advising people to stay out of the surf for at least 72 hours following showers.

— Dave Schwab contributed to this report.