Storm Causes Damage in County


Last updated 2/15/2024 at 12:22pm

Sicco Rood

San Diego County was hit hard by the recent rains with several vehicles being washed away and many having to evacuate to higher grounds, leaving their homes and belongings behind.

Rain fall totaled to over nearly four inches in a three-hour period in parts of San Diego, with Borrego reaching nearly over an inch in various areas. However, it won't stop there.

Rain is expected to be in the forecast again to begin the month of February, so all must be prepared for what is to come with another inch or more of rain possible in some parts of San Diego County. The forecast also shows that heavy showers are expected on Feb. 1 through the weekend.

So with this down pour in San Diego County, many are questioning if this could mean a "Super Bloom" in Borrego Springs.

Last year around this time, the Borrego Sun reported that various flowers made their appearance early in the beginning of December 2022, and these flowers were continuing to sprout in many regions around the Park. However, this year, there hasn't been many appearances of flowers, yet. Mother Nature is doing its best to perfect the conditions needed for a bloom, but who is to know just yet if a flower fest is certain.

There are a lot of factors that go into a wildflower bloom including receiving the proper amount of rain at the proper time, temperatures, and desert winds. If all holds up and goes well, March and April should be great months to appreciate the certain wildflower bloom.

How will this bloom compare to the Super Bloom in 2017 and 2019? We will have to see. Stay tuned.

Those hunting those flowers can also visit, sponsored by the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association or can call the Wildflower Hotline at 760-767-4684 for the latest bloom information and road conditions.

Here are a few tips to enjoy your wildflower visit. (From Ernie Cowan back in 2019, prior to the last Super Bloom Borrego had).

Come early and consider bringing a picnic. Local restaurants will be swamped on weekends, and what could be more enjoyable than lunch in a field of flowers?

Carry a comb. It's not just to look pretty but serves a far more important task if you happen to encounter the prickly ball of a cholla cactus.

The barbed spines are difficult to remove, and if you try to flick the cactus ball off or remove it with gloves or your fingers, you will only spread misery. A comb does a great job of removing the cactus ball and many of the spines. It's then easier to get the last few spines with tweezers or pliers.

Be adventurous, but not thoughtless. A road that looks good for your sports car won't be if you need to pull over for other traffic. Cars will quickly sink in Soft sand and towing from remote places gets really expensive. Check at wildflower information booths for road conditions. Better yet, hike.

Getting away from the crowds is easy with even just a short hike. You also move much slower and will discover so many more flower species and perhaps some of the unique and interesting creatures of the desert.

Beware of snakes. Snake encounters are rare, but spring is a time when temperatures are moderate, and snakes can be active.

Avoid putting your hands into places you can't see. If you do encounter a snake, let everyone around you know, especially if you think it could be a rattlesnake. Simply back away, and the snake will leave you alone.

Because of the rain...

San Diego County District 1 Supervisor and Chairwoman Nora Vargas announced that the County will qualify for state flood relief funds.

"I am deeply grateful to Governor (Gavin) Newsom and CalOES for their swift action in approving the County of San Diego's request for aid under the California Disaster Assistance Act," said Chairwoman Vargas. "This support will play a critical role in the road to recovery ahead across the County. Collaboration like this demonstrates the strength and impact between state and local municipalities. As we pivot to recovery, I remain committed to bringing resources to our community."

The County continues to encourage residents and businesses to fill out a voluntary online damage assessment survey. Completing the form will assist the County of San Diego with collecting damage information related to the storm. Completing the form does not guarantee that you will be eligible to receive any disaster relief assistance and is not a substitution for filing a claim with your insurance.

Those impacted by the storm can also get support and resources at the County Local Assistance Center at the Spring Valley Library located at 836 Kempton Street. Flood victims can walk in without an appointment from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. The center will act as a one-stop shop for residents who need information on how to recover from the damaging storms. Additional storm recovery information and updates are available on the County recovery website.

The County Office of Emergency Services also asks people to be ready by creating a plan, building an emergency go-kit and signing up for alerts and information. Here's what you can do.

Flooding from the torrential storms was bad enough, but now residents cleaning up their damaged homes face the threat of mold. The longer materials stay wet, the more likely mold will grow. It takes only two to three days for mold to form.

Mold can pose health problems, especially for young children, seniors and those who are already ill. Long-term exposure can affect anyone.

To take care of it, flood-impacted residents can hire a licensed mold remediation contractor with special training and equipment, or they can work to get rid of mold themselves.

In either case, take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes before cleanup begins.