Updated at 7 p.m. March 18, 2012
Rain and strong winds left scattered power outages in the wake of the Pacific storm sweeping San Diego County. By Sunday night, most of the moisture should have moved east, but showers remain in the forecast.
East and south Ramona, as well as nearby San Diego Country Estates, saw more than 300 customers lose power, and separate late morning incidents (one involving a car hitting a transformer) led to 51 homes losing power in Santee.
A Santee fire station was blocked by downed power lines on Cottonwood Avenue about 11 a.m., but the trucks were moved and later able to respond to calls, fire officials said.
A tree branch struck a power pole in the Mount Helix area, knocking power out
to 54 SDG&E customers about 1:25 p.m., according to spokeswoman for the utility. SDG&E officials expected to have service restored by about 4:40 p.m.
Gale warnings were posted for coastal waters, with monstrous swells and wind waves. The blusters downed a power pole in Encinitas. The pole had some rotting inside and would be replaced, said an SDG&E spokeswoman.
The storm was expected to churn up the surf, and a big, wind-driven
westerly swell would be running, producing surf of 6-8 feet. Some sets may be
roll in around 10 feet on west-facing beaches. A weather service high surf advisory will be in effect through 2 p.m. Monday.
Downtown San Diego got about an inch of rain Saturday, with spots like Valley Center reporting closer to 2 inches, and National Weather Service
forecasters said isolated thunderstorms and hail were likely Sunday morning, followed by nonelectrical showers in the afternoon.
Chain control was in effect on Sunrise Highway in Mount Laguna and Palomar Mountain. Heavy snow, ice and high winds were reported on Interstate 8 from state Route 79 to Inkopah at about 8 a.m. Residents reported snow in Santa Ysabel Sunday morning, and snow fell in the highest elevations of Borrego Springs. Heavy snow was still falling in Wynola, near Julian.
Monitor Patch for updates.
Highs will be in the mid-50s and winds out of the west at 20-30 mph, with gusts possible up to 45 mph. That prompted the weather service to issue a wind advisory, effective through 9 Sunday night.
The storm has churned up the surf, and a big, wind-driven westerly swell will be running, producing surf 6-8 feet. Some sets may be roll in around 10 feet on west-facing beaches. A weather service high surf advisory will be in effect through 2 p.m. Monday.
Snow will fall at elevations of about 4,000 feet or more, with as much as a foot falling on the highest peaks. About 3 inches is expected to stick around for a few days. Winds in the mountains could gust up to about 50 mph.
A weather service winter storm warning will be in effect until 9 Sunday night.
The blustery wet weather made for tough driving conditions Saturday. A downpour about 2 p.m. flooded Interstate 8 near West Main Street in El Cajon, and a clogged storm drain caused flooding on Interstate 5 near Market Street.
A big rock fell into the northbound lane of Sunrise Highway near Mount Laguna, some 17 miles north of Interstate 8 at Pine Valley.
Wind blew a tree into a power pole, knocking out electricity to some San Diego Gas & Electric customers in the Jamacha, West Jamul and Indian Springs
area, according to a spokeswoman for the utility.
City News Service and Julie Pendray contributed to this report.