4/11/20: Encinitas Fights the Torrential Rain

Can you believe that Encinitas got 7.4 inches of rain last week?! Our city’s average yearly rainfall is 15 inches, so we received nearly half of that in less than 6 days.

Encinitas had the most rain in the entire county yesterday, with 4.6 inches.

The non-stop deluge (which my husband calls a “frog strangler”) resulted in flooding in many areas of Encinitas, including homes, businesses, roads, riverbeds and infrastructure facilities. Employees at every level of government worked their tails off to protect the public and the environment. Thankfully, it appears that there was no loss of life or major injury yesterday.

The city’s Emergency Operations Center, established to deal with the coronavirus effects, was able to effectively pivot to the flooding emergency that resulted in 76 incidents across the cities of Encinitas, Del Mar and Solana Beach. The average number of incidents per day is 22. 

The Escondido Creek overflowed in several locations on its course toward the San Elijo Lagoon yesterday. Five people and four dogs had to be rescued when their tent and belongings washed into the fast rising river about 8 miles upstream from the Olivenhain area. The Encinitas Fire & Lifeguard Swift Water Team, together with personnel from other agencies, needed to divide into two separate teams to rescue everyone. After making several runs into the water with rescue rafts, they safely secured the people and animals without injury to any person or animal. (Above photo by Roman S. Koenig.)

This news story from NBC7 San Diego shows video of the Encinitas Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Santa Fe Drive that was hit by a mudslide (shown above). I can’t confirm the accuracy of the reporter’s statement about the number of patients in the home. I understand that ten patients were safely moved.

(Top photo from Fox 5 news, bottom photo by Lisa Shaffer.)

This video news story from Fox 5 news depicts Sunshine Gardens completely flooded and the effort to rescue goats and other animals, as seen in the photos above. 

(Photo by Encinitas Marine Safety Captain Larry Giles.)

In addition, there were several non-injury bluff failures along the coast (a collapse near Swami’s is shown above), substantial amounts of mud filled the two western-most travel lanes of El Camino Real, Lone Jack Road was closed due to flooding and the emergency access gate was opened.

I know many local residents and businesses spent much of yesterday helping each other with pumping, sand bagging (the city ran out of sand bags) and trying to protect and keep property safe and functioning. Thank you to all the good samaritans helping each other in this time of need. All our public works, public safety and infrastructure employees deserve recognition for their tireless commitment to the public good. 

Here’s a San Diego Union-Tribune story about the unexpected ferocity of the storm. A North Coast Current story about the amount of rain is here

This short PSA from Ohio – “A little space makes us all safer together” – is really powerful. Keep your distance from others! 

The county has expanded its health order to prohibit gatherings of any type in public or private with people who are not in your own family. 

“We decided to extend the gathering restrictions because people were getting together in parks, beaches and other open spaces,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “People should stay at home and only go in public when doing essential activities, such as grocery shopping or going to the pharmacy.”

There are now 1693 positive coronavirus cases in San Diego County, and 33 of them are Encinitas residents. As I have mentioned before, indications are that staying at home has somewhat flattened the rate of COVID-19 cases, but we must continue if we’re going to beat this pandemic anytime soon.

Let’s all get together (safely) this afternoon at 3 p.m.!

This afternoon (Saturday, April 11) at 3 p.m. I’ll be on Facebook Live from my Facebook page, and you’re invited to be a part of it.

We’ll be talking about the pandemic, re-focusing during this uncertain time, the city’s finances, and I’ll do my best to answer your questions and concerns. If you miss the initial stream, you’ll be able to watch it later.

During the livestream, I’m also going to tell you about my bid for re-election as your Encinitas Mayor. 

Working together with the Encinitas City Council and many of you, we’ve accomplished a tremendous amount during the time you’ve elected me to serve in Encinitas. I hope to continue this good work on your behalf. 

I know it’s a bit awkward to announce a re-election campaign in the midst of the biggest crisis in local history, but we play the cards we’re dealt. My primary focus remains getting the city and all of us safely through this pandemic.

I’d be very grateful if you’d support my candidacy for mayor of Encinitas by contributing here to continue strong, compassionate leadership for our beloved city. My website is here and you can donate up to $250 per person here

I’m looking forward to seeing you online this afternoon at 3 p.m. for the Facebook Live streaming event

If you have any questions you’d like to pose in advance, please send them my way by responding to this email.

The holidays of Passover, Good Friday and Easter this week are times of togetherness for many families. Virtual gatherings are a great way to celebrate family traditions in a safe way.

Please take care of yourself!

In your service,

(Photo and art created by the family of Planning Commissioner Amy Flicker.)

Coronavirus Resources