Updated at 10:55 a.m., Sunday, March 1
The snowfall that blanketed the San Diego County mountains Sunday and rain that drenched other areas caused highway flooding and road closures.
Snow chains were being required for drivers on icy South Grade Road at state Route 76 near Palomar Mountain State Park, and those without chains were sent back down the mountain, according to the California Highway Patrol.
National Weather Service forecasters said the mountain snow would continue the mountains through the start of the work week. A winter storm warning was set to remain in effect in the mountains until 4 p.m. Monday.
The snow level was expected to drop from around 5,000 feet to 4,500 feet late tonight. Less than four inches of snow accumulation was forecasted for areas between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, four to eight inches is expected from 5,000 to 6,000 feet and a foot or more could be possible higher then 6,000 feet, forecasters said.
Pouring rain was causing problems for drivers elsewhere in the county this morning. Roadway flooding was reported on the transition road from southbound Interstate 805 to eastbound state Route 52 near University City and up to 6 inches of water was pooling on northbound Interstate 805 south of H Street in Chula Vista, the CHP said. Crashes on freeways throughout the region were also reported.
A flood advisory was scheduled to remain in effect until 1 p.m. for central San Diego County where rainfall of half an inch could fall in an hour. Locations that may experience minor flooding included Oceanside, Escondido, El Cajon, Vista, Carlsbad, Encinitas, San Marcos, La Mesa, San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, Santee, Poway, Fallbrook, Imperial Beach, Spring Valley, Lemon Grove. Coronado, Lakeside, Rancho San Diego, Ramona, Alpine, Solana Beach, Bonita, Camp Pendleton and Del Mar, according to the weather service.
The weather service advised mountain residents and motorists to prepare for hazardous conditions and possible road closures, and to carry chains, extra food, water and clothing.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was also advising mountain motorists, including those on area highways in Julian, Pine Valley and Descanso, to keep their gas tanks full and to keep other supplies in their vehicles. Some drivers may end up stuck in traffic for several hours, and public restroom facilities will be limited.
Those hoping to enjoy the cold weather were asked to be aware of private property, which could be marked by signs or fences, and is off limits for recreational activities. Additional law enforcement officers will be on hand to handle any large crowds that may gather in snowy areas.
Parking will also be limited, and violators will be ticketed, sheriff’s Sgt. Carlos Medina said. Vehicles blocking the roadway and private property will be towed, he said.
— City News Service
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