By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Montecito mudslide, courtesy Santa Barbara Fire Dept.
January 11, 2018 (San Diego’s East County)— In Santa Barbara County, heavy rains turned to tragedy when mudslides caused burned hillsides to collapse, killing at least 17 people in Montecito, where 43 more remain missing as a desperate search for survivors continues.
But here in San Diego, this week’s rains brought welcome relief from an unusually dry winter.
Before Monday, precipitation in San Diego County was at only 3% of normal for the winter season. But from noon Monday to noon Wednesday, the storm dumped several inches of rain across much of our region – including more than six inches on Palomar Mountain.
Mountain areas received the heaviest deluge, including Lake Cuyamaca with 5.48 inches of rain. Pine Hills near Julian at 4.63 inches, and Descanso at 3.99 inches.
Local cities of La Mesa, El Cajon, Lemon Grove and Santee all received over 2 inches of rain, as did some portions of San Diego.
In the desert areas, some portions of Borrego Springs received nearly an inch, while Ocotillo Wells had only a quarter of an inch.
Overall, the storms this week raised the totals to 25% to 50% of normal precipition for the season to date -- still below average, but substantially better than before the recent rains.