Ocean Beach streets begin to fill with water an hour after the rain started. Photo by Chris Stone

A strong Pacific storm moved across the San Diego area Friday, delivering widespread downpours and stiff winds that toppled trees and felled power lines.

The unsettled atmospheric system began dousing the northern reaches of the county late Thursday and moved steadily south Friday morning and afternoon.

The gusty winds caused problems in various communities, including Hillcrest and University City, where toppled trees blocked sections of state Route 163 and Interstate 5 in the late morning and late afternoon, respectively; and Pacific Beach, where downed electrical cables forced the closure of part of Dawes Street shortly after 4:30 p.m., authorities reported. No injuries were reported.

By late afternoon, heavy showers were coming down across the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Rainfall rates exceeding a half-inch an hour are likely through late evening, creating the likelihood of widespread urban and small-stream flooding, meteorologists advised.

Over a 12-hour period ending at 5:30 p.m., according to the NWS, the dark clouds had dropped 0.55 of an inch of precipitation in San Onofre; 0.4 in Oceanside; 0.26 in Carlsbad; 0.24 in Fallbrook; 0.19 in Solana Beach; 0.18 in Point Loma; 0.14 at Miramar Lake; 0.13 in Kearny Mesa; 0.12 in Bonsall, Carlsbad and San Marcos; 0.11 in Mission Valley; 0.07 in Rancho Bernardo; 0.05 in Escondido; 0.04 in Santee and Valley Center; and 0.02 on Mount Woodson.

The heaviest downpours will occur Friday evening, followed by lighter and steadily decreasing showers Saturday, forecasters said. By the time the storm makes its exit from the region on Sunday, local rainfall tallies are expected to range from 1.5 to 2.5 inches.

A high-wind warning was slated to remain in effect until 2 a.m. Saturday, and a high-surf warning until 10 p.m. Sunday.

Partly cloudy skies will prevail through most of next week, with a slight chance of showers in some locales on Monday and Wednesday, according to the weather service.

–City News Service

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