December 6 Storm Preliminary Report

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Dec. 6 Storm Preliminary Report

Contact:  Janine Zuniga; (619) 522-7340

Preliminary Report Issued on Intense, Damaging Storm

CORONADO, CA (December 18, 2018) – The City has issued a preliminary report assessing the citywide damage and needed repairs from a powerful storm earlier this month that hit Coronado especially hard.

The December 6 storm dropped a substantial amount of rain in a short period of time, causing major widespread flooding and damage to nearly a dozen public facilities. The City continues to assess the damage and affix costs to repairs and equipment replacement. The current damage estimate is approximately $200,000. The preliminary damage report was presented to the City Council at its December 18 meeting.

“The storm was severe and a significant portion of it appeared to narrowly focus on the village area of Coronado,” said City Manager Blair King said. “We didn’t hear from any other cities receiving the kind of overall damage we did. The amount of rain overwhelmed us.”

King, acting as the City’s director of emergency services, issued a declaration of local emergency to county officials the night of the storm. Up to 4 inches of rain fell, according local amateur weather watchers and the City’s own Golf Course weather station, within a 6-hour window. A nearby National Weather Service rain-reporting station at Naval Air Station North Island broke mid-storm.

Heavy rain began at about 4 p.m. and by 5 p.m., public safety officials began receiving storm-related calls. There was flooding in the newly built John D. Spreckels Center that touched most rooms in the facility, the site of the former Senior Center; knee-high muddy water flooded the Golf Course maintenance barn; and significant pooling on the Golf Course shut it down for play for two days. The storm water undermined several sidewalks and caused numerous potholes and sinkholes around town. A power outage affected more than 1,000 customers as well as City pump stations at multiple facilities.

The City activated its Emergency Operations Center at about 7 p.m. and staffed it until midnight. Police responded to 67 storm-related calls for service, which included 20 from disabled motorists. City crews worked 15-hour shifts on Thursday, December 6, into the early morning hours of Friday. Some City officials worked overnight monitoring storm drains, storm water and sewer storm drain systems, flooded facilities and public safety. City staff worked a total of 316.25 hours during the storm and on the immediate clean-up. The cost in overtime and direct storm-related hours was $18,838.

The most significant damage of City facilities was seen at the Spreckels Center and Golf Course maintenance barn. The interior of the Spreckels Center was submerged in approximately 2 inches of water. The center remains closed until the damage is repaired. The Golf Course maintenance barn received more than 2 feet of muddy water reaching offices, equipment and the maintenance bay. The Golf Course experienced significant pooling of water with large ponds forming on holes #7 and #14. Pumps were rented to remove water.

Damage was also found at the Library, Community Center, City Hall, Police Department, along the Bayshore Bikeway at Fiddler’s Cove, the sidewalk at the Avenida del Sol cul de sac, and on numerous roadways.

Damage to private property is unknown, however, many businesses on Orange Avenue, including the Hotel del Coronado, were damaged when flood water topped the curbs and entered doorways. 

The City Manager’s office is in the process of working with the City’s insurance carrier to remediate all storm-related damage to City facilities and infrastructure. Damage to all pumping station electrical equipment has been repaired or replaced and all electrical systems are now fully operational. Extensive cleanup and repair efforts continue at the Spreckels Center. 

A copy of the preliminary report can be found here.


Posted on 12/18/2018
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