Consumer

The Rains Are Coming; Got Sandbags?

There could be some unfamiliar stuff falling out of the sky over the next few days in San Diego County.  That’s right — rain, and potentially, lots of it.

To help you prepare, the County of San Diego is once again offering free sand and bags to people in our unincorporated areas to help protect homes, neighborhoods and streets from flooding and soil erosion problems. Just bring your shovel to the fires stations listed below.

Current forecasts are suggesting the rain could last throughout the weekend and into early next week.

Because our region has been battling drought for several years, rains can cause soil erosion, especially in areas that are not covered by lawns, trees, shrubs and plants. Water runoff, and especially mud and debris flows, can damage homes and properties, flood roadways, and clog storm drains and culverts.

Locations to get sand and bags are:

  • Cal Fire Station 73: 28205 North Lake Wohlford Road, Valley Center
  • Pauma Valley-Rincon, Cal Fire Station 70: 16971 Highway 76, Valley Center Cal Fire Station 50: 1587 Highway 78, Julian
  • Alpine Fire Protection District, Station 17: 1364 Tavern Road, Alpine (Bags ONLY)
  • Ramona Station: 3410 Dye Road, Ramona
  • North County Fire Protection District, Station 4: 4375 Pala Mesa Drive, Fallbrook
  • Cal Fire Station 30: 17304 Highway 94, Dulzura
  • Bonita/Sunnyside Fire Department: 4900 Bonita Road, Bonita

County public works officials said several areas in the county are prone to roadway flooding. The three most frequent are the dips at Quarry Road, Sandia Creek in the North County, and Country Club Drive in Harmony Grove. Gates at the Quarry Road dip drop down automatically when activated by sensors in the stream. Public Works crews will post road closures at Country Club, Sandia Creek and any other areas where unsafe driving conditions exist. You can monitor the status of the dips by webcam and plan your trip accordingly. 

RELATED VIDEO: High-Tech Weather Center Keeps Watch for Flooding

 And here are some tips for when the heavier rains arrive: Never cross a flooded roadway if you cannot see the pavement. Even a few inches of water running at the right velocity can sweep a car, and even a truck, and its occupants off the roadway and downstream. You don’t want a swift-water rescue as part of your travel plans.

During and immediately after heavy rainfall, do not go near storm channels, creeks or streams.

If you plan on taking a trip to the mountains, it’s always a good idea to carry tire chains. Road condition updates, chain controls and other safety advisories are posted on Public Works’ Facebook and Twitter.  County Department of Public Works road crews are expected to be plowing the mountain highway, so watch out for crews and equipment, and do not park in the roadway. If you’re heading up to enjoy the expected snow, never let your children — or anyone — sled down hills and across roads or the highway. You never know when a snowplow may be coming around the bend.

During severe weather events, the Public Works Emergency page is activated with the latest information.

Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact