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A large boulder has been moved from the 78 northwest of Ramona. However, road is still closed there due to downed power lines. Courtesy photo
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Powerful winter storm hammers San Diego area

REGION — Record-setting rainfall and driving winds lashed the San Diego area yesterday, prompting widespread flooding, fallen trees, mudslides and other storm-related hazards across the soaked region.

The intensity of the downpours prompted the National Weather Service to issue a countywide flash-flood watch effective through this evening. A wind advisory will remain in effect in the local mountains until 4 a.m. Saturday.

As the rains intensified, the San Diego County Office of Education announced that Vallecitos Elementary School in Rainbow were closed for the day.

Additionally, campuses in the Pine Valley-area Mountain Empire Unified School District closed an hour early due to flash flooding, and students at Santa Margarita and Stuart Mesa elementary schools on the grounds of Camp Pendleton were let out prior to their usual end of classes due to road closures and potential flooding.

Moderately severe overflows along the San Diego River are expected until early Friday in the area of Fashion Valley and Mission Valley malls, as well as on the Santa Margarita River in the North County.

The intense rainfall set more than a half-dozen local precipitation records for the day, according to the National Weather Service.

The historic Feb. 14 tallies include 10.1 inches at Palomar Observatory (topping the prior milestone of 9.58 inches, set in 1991); 4.02 in Ramona (2.15, 1995); 3.75 in Campo (2.12, 1954); 3.01 in Vista (2.58, 1980); 2.94 in Alpine (2.6, 1995); 2.68 in Borrego (1.73, 1980); and 1.28 at Oceanside Harbor (1.03, 1980).

Among the highest two-day precipitation totals at 5 p.m. were 10.44 inches at Birch Hill; 9.05 in the Palomar area; 8.12 at Henshaw Dam; 7.33 at Lake Cuyamaca; 7.11 in Oak Grove; 6.92 in Julian; 6.86 at Pine Hills Fire Station; 6.68 on Volcan Mountain; 6.36 at Red Mountain; 6.2 in Mesa Grande; 6.19 at Rainbow Camp; 6.04 on Mount Laguna; 5.52 in Santa Ysabel; 5.51 in Descanso; 5.23 in Fallbrook; 5.22 in Echo Dell; 5.14 in Pine Valley; 5.09 in Skyline Ranch; 4.81 in Ranchita; 4.72 in Valley Center; 4.63 in Warner Springs; 4.53 in Rincon Springs; 4.5 on Mount Woodson; 4.15 at Lake Wohlford; 4.05 in Alpine; 4.02 in San Diego Country Estates; and 4.01 in Deer Springs.

Other 48-hour moisture tallies included 3.98 inches in Bonsall; 3.96 on Otay Mountain; 3.86 in San Felipe; 3.82 in Ramona; 3.6 in Barona; 3.56 in Harbison Canyon; 3.41 in Oceanside; 3.4 in Flinn Springs; 3.32 in Escondido; 2.87 in Poway; 2.85 in Granite Hills; 2.84 in Santee; 2.4 in Carlsbad; 2.27 in La Mesa; 2.25 in Rancho Bernardo; 2.22 in El Cajon; 2.14 in Lakeside; 2.12 in La Jolla; 2.1 in Encinitas; 1.92 in Kearny Mesa; 1.91 in Lemon Grove; 1.67 in Mission Valley; 1.62 in Solana Beach; 1.53 in Borrego Springs; 1.34 in San Ysidro; 1.27 Agua Caliente and Chula Vista; 1.25 in Del Mar; 1.06 at Lindbergh Field; and 0.64 in Ocotillo Wells.

Snow levels will likely drop to around 6,000 feet tonight, weather service meteorologist Miguel Miller said.

South-to-southwest winds of 25 to 35 mph, with gusts reaching 55 mph, were expected to continue through this evening.

By this afternoon, street flooding and other storm-related problems were reported numerous roadways all over the county, including:
   — Airway Road at La Media Road, Otay Mesa;
   — The 5700 block of Camino del Rey, Bonsall;
   — Camino del Rio between Camino de la Siesta and Avenida del Rio,
Mission Valley;
   — Carroll Canyon Road east of Mino Drive, Sorrento Valley;
   — Carmel Mountain Road/Sorrento Valley Road;
   — Coronado Avenue between Cable Street and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard,
Ocean Beach (fallen tree on a house);
   — Discovery Street/San Pablo Drive, San Marcos;
   — Country Club Drive/Harmony Grove Road, Elfin Forest;
   — The 12500 block of Highland Valley Road, Rancho Bernardo;
   — Market Street/54th Street, Emerald Hills (mud and other debris);
   — The 3600, 3700 and 3800 blocks of Midway Drive, Midway district;
   — Mission Road south of Murray Canyon Road, Mission Valley;
   — Outer Road near Coronado Avenue, Otay Mesa;
   — Pala Temecula Road/Sycamore Lane, Pala;
   — The 11200 block of Roselle Street, Torrey Hills;
   — San Diego Mission Road between Fairmount Avenue and Rancho Mission
Road, Grantville;
   — San Diego River crossings near Fashion Valley mall, Mission Valley;
   — 10500 block of Rookwood Drive, Scripps Ranch (fallen 100-foot
eucalyptus tree);
   — The 2000 block of Saturn Boulevard, San Ysidro;
   — Sefton Field at Hotel Circle Place. Mission Valley;
   — The 600 block of Silver Gate Avenue, Point Loma (sinkhole);
   — The 10100 block of Sorrento Valley Road (mudslide); and
   — Upas Street between Texas and Louisiana streets, North Park.

The storm will die down this evening, but there will be chances of scattered, milder showers from Friday evening through Monday afternoon, Miller said.