Storms pounded the San Diego area today, delivering one of the rainiest days on record at the San Diego Airport, flooding major highways such as the 5, the 15 , the 94 and the 78, pushing the San Diego river over its banks, washing cars into flood channels and inundating portions of downtown.
This being California, amidst the tragedy, the surfboards came out. Despite water quality warnings, surfers took to the waves generated by the storm at local beaches. In one surf town, Oceanside, a local TV news crew caught an intrepid paddleboarder taking a cruise on the flooded and closed 78 Freeway just east of the 5, a major East-West artery that today was free of traffic.
Fox 5 News reporter Misha Dibono was on the scene as police tried to get the man off the flooded roadway which looked to be covered by about 3-4 feet of water.
In the background of the live shot, as video of the man taking a cruise across the eastbound center lanes is shown, officials can be heard over a bullhorn telling him to “get out of the water or you’re going to get a citation.” Dibono reports that, in a conversation before her live shot, police told her they had “never seen anything like this.”
Further south flooded Pacific Beach, CBS 8 San Diego documented fire crews using a surfboard to rescue several people as well as a dog named “Snowy.”
It wasn’t all fun and games. The City of San Diego declared a state of emergency as the flood waters rose, damaging homes and washing cars into local rivers and down inundated streets. According to the San Diego Fire Department, its firefighters and local lifeguards performed about 24 rescues from the Tijuana and San Diego Rivers and various car rescues around town. “There were also hundreds of rescues from flooded homes on Beta & surrounding streets,” according to a tweet from fire officials.