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North Coast Current

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Deluge brings more rain, flooding, closures to North San Diego County

Rain. (Pete Nowicki, Unsplash)

The latest major storm to sweep through the region met or exceeded predictions as North San Diego County residents faced significant rainfall and flooding this week.

Four-day tallies as of Wednesday, Feb. 7, showed that North County communities received more than 2 inches of rain generally, with some areas recording more than 3 inches. San Onofre, north of Oceanside, received more than 7 inches.

Although San Diego in general appeared to have avoided the storm’s most destructive and deadly effects like those experienced in Orange County, Los Angeles and farther north, there was a tornado warning for south-central San Diego on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The storm was fed by a Pineapple Express atmospheric river originating from the region of the Hawaiian Islands, and it brought steady rain to North County by Monday night through Tuesday.

Flooding by late Monday afternoon again forced the closure of eastbound State Route 78 at El Camino Real. The segment was reopened by about 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to a Caltrans update. Northbound traffic on Interstate 5 at Palomar Airport Road also faced disruptions.

Here are four-day rain totals for key North San Diego County reporting stations from the National Weather Service and other reporting sites as of 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7:

Bonsall: 4 inches
Carlsbad: 3.27 inches
Del Mar: 1.49 inches (from
El Camino Del Norte (Olivenhain): 2.53 inches
Encinitas: 2.45 inches
Escondido: 2.89 inches
Fallbrook: 4.96 inches (remote automatic station)
Fallbrook: 4.42 inches
McClellan-Palomar Airport (Carlsbad): 3.13 inches
Oceanside: 3.72 inches
Poway: 2.61 inches
Ramona: 2.72 inches
Ramona Airport: 2.73 inches
Rancho Bernardo: 2.13 inches
Rancho Santa Fe: 1.5 inches inches (from
San Marcos: 2.49 inches
Solana Beach: 1.5 inches (from
Valley Center: 3.24 inches
Valley Center: 3.14 inches (remote automatic station)
Vista: 2.83 inches

San Onofre received 7.59 inches of rain over the four-day period. The Santa Margarita River has been at near-flood stage since Monday, peaking at about 11 feet on Monday and about 10.5 feet late Wednesday afternoon, National Weather Service tracking showed.

Rain is expected to stay in the forecast through Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

“A low pressure system from the north will bring more widespread showers for tonight and early Thursday along with a slight chance of thunderstorms,” a forecast update stated. “Additional rainfall through Thursday morning is expected to range from one-half to three-quarters of an inch near the coast to 1.5 to 2.5 inches in the mountains with one-quarter inch or less in the mountains. The snow level will be near 4000 to 4500 feet north to 4500 to 5000 feet south.”