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PREP-WORK : San Diego emergency officials prepare for strong El Nino

Posted: Aug 10, 2015 5:46 PM PDT

Updated: Aug 10, 2015 5:46 PM PDT
By Shannon Handy, Reporter

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Meteorologists are forecasting a strong El Nino weather pattern that will bring heavy rainfall this winter, and San Diego City leaders are starting to prepare.

When it does rain, flooding is a common site outside Fashion Valley Mall, and it's one of several problem areas San Diego officials discussed regarding what's predicted to be one of the rainiest seasons since 1998.

"We want to make sure that we're prepared, that we're looking at all the possible scenarios we're going to have to address and deal with once rains do come,"
said Public Information Officer, Jose Ysea.

El Nino conditions are expected to bring that rain come November.

Public Information officer Jose Ysea said last month's two-day long storm, which created havok all over the city and county, acted as a good indicator of what's ahead.

That was just the drop in the bucket.

"It's going to be a lot more rain over a longer period of time. That's really what we're looking at, is how to deal with all that rain at once," said Ysea.

In addition to flooding, the city's biggest concern are mudslides.

Ysea said Staff is making sure there's enough supplies like barriers and sandbags to go around.

They are also mobilizing other agencies such as San Diego Police and the San Diego Lifeguards Swift Water Rescue Team to deal with problem areas like the Tijuana River Valley.

Mission Hills is also another area susceptible to flooding. City officials said it is not just the design of the area that's the problem, but rather people who leave debris out that ends up clogging the drains.

Another part of the city's plan is to do outreach in certain neighborhoods to remind residents about how to keep flooding from becoming a big problem.

City leaders plan to meet every two weeks until the rain hits. They will reach out to county officials as well.

The last significant El Nino was in 1997 and 1998, when 18-inches of rain fell in San Diego.

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