SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A historic storm in San Diego left the neighborhoods of Southcrest facing devastating flooding and destruction. After experiencing about three inches of rain within a six-hour period, residents were left grappling with flooded homes, displaced vehicles, and a significant amount of debris washed into the streets. The unprecedented flooding occurred in several communities, including Southcrest, Encanto, Mountain View, and Lincoln Park, due to the heavy rainfall, which exceeded the area’s typical monthly average.
Residents shared harrowing videos of people stranded on rooftops and widespread flash flooding that engulfed their neighborhoods. The aftermath of the storm revealed homes covered in mud, vehicles stacked on top of each other, and extensive property damage. Some households reported floodwaters rising as high as a person’s shoulders inside their homes, leaving behind a trail of devastation and destruction.
Many residents blamed the flooding on a clogged Chollas Creek, which flows through the hardest-hit areas. There were complaints about 40 years of neglect in cleaning the canyon, with residents demanding greater transparency and proactive maintenance from the city. The overflowing creek dumped water and debris directly into some residents’ homes, causing extensive damage.
One homeowner, Paul Quijano, emphasized the need for the city to address the neglect of the creek, highlighting how a buildup of debris and trash contributed to the flooding. For an 88-year-old resident, Naomi Phillips-Terry, the recent flooding brought back memories of a similar event in 1989, leaving her home submerged in knee-high water.
As the community grappled with the aftermath, questions were raised about the lack of assistance and resources for affected residents. The absence of adequate insurance coverage for floods further added to the concerns, leaving many without viable options for recovery.
In response to the crisis, the city’s Stormwater Department and Environmental Services Department initiated cleanup efforts, focusing on removing debris and addressing damages caused by the storm. City officials addressed the overwhelming influx of complaints and reported that several stormwater pump stations were overwhelmed during the storm, leading to ongoing restoration efforts.
San Diego Mayor Gloria acknowledged the need for infrastructure improvements, citing the extraordinary nature of the recent storm and its impact on the city’s drainage system. Furthermore, calls were made for better maintenance of Chollas Creek and enhanced transparency from the city about its maintenance plans.
In the wake of the disaster, residents pressed for answers and sought assurances of improved maintenance and support from city officials, underscoring the urgent need for greater preparedness and response measures moving forward.