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Coast Braced for Another Flood Tide

January 19, 1988|KATHIE BOZANICH | Times Staff Writer

One of the strongest storms to course through San Diego in several years moved east on Monday, leaving a wind-battered, flooded county in its wake.

A coastal flood warning remains in effect for this morning, as the astronomical high tide again combines with unusually high surf, National Weather Service forecaster Dan Atkin said.

The astronomical high tide will reach 7.6 feet at 8:50 this morning--the second highest reading of the year, Atkin said.

However, the surf will not be as high as the 10-foot-plus waves that pummeled the coast Monday morning, he said. The breakers will reach up to eight feet, Atkin said.

Significant Waves Due

"Some significant waves are still expected, and so is more flooding," he said. "We don't think it will be as bad as (Monday) morning, however. Low-lying areas close to west-facing beaches will bear the brunt of the damage."

Imperial Beach, Coronado's Silver Strand, south Mission Beach, La Jolla and Cardiff are expected to be the hardest hit by this morning's flooding from the high tide, Atkin said.

Despite the concerns about flooding, a high pressure system is expected to move into the area over the next few days, bringing mild temperatures and mostly sunny days, according to Atkin.

The recent storm was reminiscent of the severe battering the county took over the first three months of 1983, when a string of storms caused an estimated $231 million in damage.

"This was certainly just as strong a storm as any that came through in '83," Atkin said. "The winds played a major factor in the amount of damage done, and the astronomical high tides contributed to making the coastal areas such a mess."

"However, the '83 storms had more of a cumulative effect," he added.

64 M.P.H. Wind Gust

One wind gust measured 64 m.p.h. Sunday afternoon at Lindbergh Field, and most areas in the county had sustained winds of 40 m.p.h throughout Sunday evening, Atkin said.

"The winds really dropped off before dawn (Monday), and a calming trend will accompany the sunnier days," Atkin said.

Rainfall amounts varied significantly throughout the San Diego area, ranging from 0.72 of an inch recorded at Lindbergh Field to 2.96 inches at Campo.

The storm also brought 14 inches of new snow to Mount Laguna, according to Atkin, with the snow level dipping to 3,500 feet.

High temperatures today are expected to be in the 60- to 68-degree range in all coastal and inland areas, nudging up a degree or two by Wednesday.

Overnight lows will be between 40 and 45 tonight along the coast, with lows between 27 and 35 expected in the inland areas.

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