North County coastal cities clean up after storms, high tides

Workers clean rocks and sand off Carlsbad Boulevard after Friday morning's high tide.
(Phil Diehl)

Seasonal rivers and creeks open up, more rain expected next week, king tides return later this month


Coastal North County cities took advantage of Friday’s sunshine to clean up from minor flooding and prepare for the next round of rain and high tides.

Work crews blocked off one lane of Carlsbad Boulevard, part of the state’s scenic Highway 101, south of Palomar Airport Road for a few hours to clean up sand and rocks washed onto the roadway by the morning’s crashing surf.

“We are seeing some flooding in low-lying areas and have posted signs as needed or closed lanes temporarily,” Carlsbad Communications and Engagement Director Kristina Ray said Thursday.

“We have also had some trees fall,” Ray said in an email. “No injuries. Street crews are making some minor repairs (small potholes). We are also out at construction sites making sure they have all the run-off prevention measures in place.”

People gathered on bluff tops all along the coast Friday morning to watch the huge surf generated by the string of Pacific storms and to cheer the few brave souls who tried to ride it.

People watch a surfer ride a wave at Terramar Beach in Carlsbad.
(Phil Diehl)

In Oceanside, storm runoff pushed the San Luis Rey River and Loma Alta Creek through their sand and rock berms in recent days and restored their seasonal flow into the ocean. Also, the Buena Vista Lagoon on the Oceanside-Carlsbad border was flowing over its weir on Friday into the Pacific.

The San Luis River remained well below flood stage and the flow was expected to peak at a little over 7 feet about 1 p.m. Friday. Flood stage is 21 feet.

“The clearing of storm drains is ongoing, and the city’s emergency responders have plans in place to monitor flood-prone areas,” Oceanside Assistant City Manager Michael Gossman said.

“The Public Works team will continue to evaluate streets and remove debris from roads and storm drains until the next storm arrives,” Gossman said. “The Water Utilities Department is ensuring that the city’s water and sewer infrastructure is as prepared as possible for expected heavy rainfalls, such as lowering the reservoir levels to ensure excess capacity.”

People walk on the ocean-soaked Strand in Oceanside late Friday morning.
(Phil Diehl)

Should the next storm arrive as expected, “it will be all hands on deck for our Public Works Department to ensure the city’s safety,” he said.

In Del Mar, storm-driven surf pounded the beaches Friday morning and sent foamy water over seawalls and beneath wooden barricades.

Flooding closed one block of Ocean Front alley between 18th and 19th streets, and hazardous conditions prompted the closure of several beach access points, according to a city news release.

No major damage was reported, though multiple beachfront properties experienced minor flooding. Public works crews used heavy equipment to push up sand for barricades at the ends of beachfront streets. Pumps were used to evacuate floodwater.

Tides in excess of 6 feet are predicted again Sunday, and another storm is expected to arrive Tuesday that could bring an inch or more of rain to the coast, and more to inland valleys and mountains.

Also, the king tides, which are the highest tides of the year, will return Jan. 21 and 22.