FAQs January 22, Storm Event

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Storm Preparedness and January 22, 2024 Rain Event

Frequently Asked Questions
January 26, 2024


>> FEMA Disaster Assistance Program

>> City's Storm Preparedness and Planning webpage


What happened on Monday? Why did the City flood?

The storm of January 22nd was an extraordinarily intense rain event that meteorologists did not predict. The entire San Diego County area was severely affected.

Coronado is flat, sits at sea level and is surrounded by water. Many of its storm drains are gravity-fed, meaning they rely on gravity to pull water through the system. Because the City is low-lying, the tide levels significantly factor into the effectiveness of the storm drain system. In higher tides, drainage pipes could be submerged, which does not allow the storm water to drain properly. The combination of historic rain volume overwhelming system capacity and higher tides led to widespread flooding. When the rain abated and as tides receded, the storm drain system was able to catch up and drain away the flood water.


How much rain did we receive?

Coronado received 4.25 inches of rain, with much of that in just a few hours. With Coronado’s land area, that equates to 576 million gallons of water falling within hours, the equivalent to 872 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

This news article describes this storm’s unusual weather pattern called “training”, when storms stall over an area for an extended period of time.

Coronado, National City and Point Loma were the hardest hit in the region. It was the fourth wettest day in San Diego’s history.


What storm preparations did the City make?

The City prepares year-round for storms by maintaining clean streets and conducting infrastructure maintenance. Ongoing preparations include:

  • Daily street sweeping. Every street in the City is swept weekly; some streets see daily cleaning. This removes debris from gutters and decreases build-up in storm drains.
  • Ongoing storm drain cleanings. The City deploys a Vactor truck to regularly clean out debris and plant material from stormwater drains.
  • Ongoing storm drain inspections, line cleanings and pump station maintenance. The City conducts inspections and cleanings on a regular basis. Pipes are also inspected with a video camera and routine maintenance takes place as issues occur.
  • Prior to a storm event, City crews inspect storm grates to ensure leaves or debris are not blocking them and check the roads for any debris that might be swept into the drain.

On Friday, January 19, the City placed pallets of sandbags for residents at 4th and Alameda and 1st and Alameda, North Beach at Ocean/Sunset Park and the Cays Park parking lot.


How does the storm drain system work? Did it fail?

Coronado has 8.5 miles of underground storm water pipes that drain to the bay or through North Beach storm water outfall.

On January 22nd, the City received a historic volume of water that exceeded the storm system’s capacity. A higher tide impaired draining in some areas, which added to the flooding.

The system did not fail but was loaded with an extreme volume of water.


What happened in the Country Club Area?

The Parker Pump station is a three-story subterranean wastewater and storm water pump station located at Eighth Street and Coronado Avenue that pumps storm water and wastewater from the Country Club area. The station holds pumps, pipes, wet wells and electrical panels and operating control systems. On Monday, January 22nd, the pump station flooded internally which rendered the plant inoperable. As the flood waters were rising, electricity was turned off for safety and to preserve the equipment.

As a result, sewer service was lost to homes and businesses in the service area. Storm water could not be pumped away, leading to significant flooding on Eighth Street and the adjacent streets. Water was knee-deep in the Parker Pump Station site, which houses the existing pump station and the construction site for the $26 million replacement station.

City crews deployed stormwater pumps to Eighth and Alameda to draw water from the storm water pipe system to allow the flooded area to drain. This was accomplished Monday night. The Parker Pump Station was pumped out Monday night as well. The next day, on Tuesday, the City deployed a sewer bypass to pump wastewater out of the area. That day affected residents were advised that limited water use was possible for toilet flushing and hand washing.

The drinking water system was not affected. The City set up an overnight shelter at the Community Center.


What happened with the Parker Pump Station? Was it a loss of power similar to what happened in 2018?

In 2018, there was a power loss to the Parker Pump Station due to a water leak through a section of conduit which shorted out the electrical panel. Since then, the City maintains staffing onsite at the station during significant rain events.

On Monday, the plant outage was due to substantial internal flooding. As the flood water rose, staff who were onsite shut off the electricity for safety and to preserve the equipment. Crews immediately established a pumper truck assembly line and an external pump system to drain the plant. This was accomplished on Monday night. As the plant dried on Tuesday, crews assessed the electrical panels and control modules. Because the plant had been powered down, the control panel was salvageable, but the circuit breakers required replacement. Breakers were located out of the area and driven to Coronado. The

City’s electric contractor worked overnight to test and replace the breakers. Power was restored to the plant by Wednesday. The sewer and stormwater pumps were inspected and found to require parts. These parts were immediately sourced, some being driven to Coronado from Northern California. On Thursday, and Friday the pumps were rebuilt and tested, with crews troubleshooting numerous obstacles along the way.

The City has a replacement pump station currently under construction immediately adjacent to the existing pump station. This $26 million investment began in January 2023. The new project entails a new pump station and an above ground electrical control room. More information about the project can be found on the Parker Pump Station project webpage.


How did the City respond to the storm?

On Monday, first responders and City crews were helping protect lives and property. The City conducted several vehicle and home rescues as flood waters overtook cars and residences. There were no fatalities or injuries reported. After the storm, City crews cleared debris and damaged trees and were out in the field assessing the severity of the destruction to homes, businesses and the City infrastructure. On Monday night, the City declared a State of Emergency.

Repairs and clean-up have been ongoing since the storm. Crews have been working around the clock to restore service at the Parker Pump station. The City is also looking ahead to the next storm system and engaging in preparations.

The City placed dumpsters around the City for the community’s free use to dispose of storm-damaged material. A list of locations can be found here.

Several City facilities sustained damage in the storm. Click here for information about closures.


What does declaring a State of Emergency mean?

The City of Coronado declared a State of Emergency on Monday evening, January 22. The declaration is a prerequisite for applying for state and federal assistance for the significant damage from the storm. It allows the City to quickly obtain needed resources to respond to the storm event and ongoing damage.


Is there anything residents can do to help during a future storm?

The City welcomes the help of residents who live near a storm inlet with a grate. If residents notice clogging of the storm drain and it can be safely cleared, please do so. If you are unsure, please call the non-emergency number at 619.522.7350.

Homeowners can rake leaves and debris in the gutter around their home when they observe it and place it in their green waste carts or the debris in their trash. When a storm event occurs, this will help keep the stormwater flowing.


What is the City doing to prepare for the next storm?

As the City recovers from the January 22 storm, it is tracking the next weather system and making advance preparations. These include:

  • Street sweeping
  • Checking and cleaning storm drain inlets and outlets
  • Developing back-up storm and sewer pump systems for the County Club area
  • Deploying free sandbags for the community. These are in place as of noon, January 26that the following locations:
    1. Fourth St. and Alameda
    2. First St. and Alameda
    3. Ocean / Sunset Park
    4. Cays Park parking lot, near the Fire Station
    5. Second St. and A Avenue – (NEW LOCATION)
    6. Park Place by Rotary Park Downtown – (NEW LOCATION)

The City encourages residents to prepare their homes and businesses for future storms and has posted some Storm Preparedness Tips on the City website.


My business was affected by the storm flooding. What resources are available to assist?
The State of California has a website with information for businesses impact by the storms, including disaster assistance, FEMA loan assistance, and the Small Business Administration Loan program.


Will the City receive state or federal assistance for businesses or residents that sustained damages from the storm?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued a Major Disaster Declaration for San Diego County due to the impact of the January 22, 2024 storm. FEMA will offer individual assistance to qualifying residents and businesses who were affected by the flooding from the storm. If you were impacted by the January 22 flooding, you can apply for FEMA assistance by visiting disasterassistance.gov and clicking “Let’s Get Started.”

You can also call FEMA’s phone helpline at 1-800-621-3362 daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Low interest loans will also be offered for households and small businesses through the Small Business Administration.


How do I file a claim with the City?

Claims filed with the City must be made in writing using an online form available on the City website. Since the City is prohibited from providing legal advice, a claimant may choose to consult an attorney as deemed necessary. The request by the City for additional information about a claim should not be construed to mean that the City will accept liability. Any information provided will be evaluated as part of the investigative process.


How do I learn what’s going in during an emergency?

  • Locally, the City of Coronado will list news updates on the City website. Updates will also be posted on the City’s social media sites.
  • Residents can sign up for Nixle advisories and alerts here for a text or email message.
  • Residents can sign up for County alerts in the region via the County website.

Storm Preparedness and January 22, 2024 Rain Event

Frequently Asked Questions
January 26, 2024


>> FEMA Disaster Assistance Program

>> City's Storm Preparedness and Planning webpage


What happened on Monday? Why did the City flood?

The storm of January 22nd was an extraordinarily intense rain event that meteorologists did not predict. The entire San Diego County area was severely affected.

Coronado is flat, sits at sea level and is surrounded by water. Many of its storm drains are gravity-fed, meaning they rely on gravity to pull water through the system. Because the City is low-lying, the tide levels significantly factor into the effectiveness of the storm drain system. In higher tides, drainage pipes could be submerged, which does not allow the storm water to drain properly. The combination of historic rain volume overwhelming system capacity and higher tides led to widespread flooding. When the rain abated and as tides receded, the storm drain system was able to catch up and drain away the flood water.


How much rain did we receive?

Coronado received 4.25 inches of rain, with much of that in just a few hours. With Coronado’s land area, that equates to 576 million gallons of water falling within hours, the equivalent to 872 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

This news article describes this storm’s unusual weather pattern called “training”, when storms stall over an area for an extended period of time.

Coronado, National City and Point Loma were the hardest hit in the region. It was the fourth wettest day in San Diego’s history.


What storm preparations did the City make?

The City prepares year-round for storms by maintaining clean streets and conducting infrastructure maintenance. Ongoing preparations include:

  • Daily street sweeping. Every street in the City is swept weekly; some streets see daily cleaning. This removes debris from gutters and decreases build-up in storm drains.
  • Ongoing storm drain cleanings. The City deploys a Vactor truck to regularly clean out debris and plant material from stormwater drains.
  • Ongoing storm drain inspections, line cleanings and pump station maintenance. The City conducts inspections and cleanings on a regular basis. Pipes are also inspected with a video camera and routine maintenance takes place as issues occur.
  • Prior to a storm event, City crews inspect storm grates to ensure leaves or debris are not blocking them and check the roads for any debris that might be swept into the drain.

On Friday, January 19, the City placed pallets of sandbags for residents at 4th and Alameda and 1st and Alameda, North Beach at Ocean/Sunset Park and the Cays Park parking lot.


How does the storm drain system work? Did it fail?

Coronado has 8.5 miles of underground storm water pipes that drain to the bay or through North Beach storm water outfall.

On January 22nd, the City received a historic volume of water that exceeded the storm system’s capacity. A higher tide impaired draining in some areas, which added to the flooding.

The system did not fail but was loaded with an extreme volume of water.


What happened in the Country Club Area?

The Parker Pump station is a three-story subterranean wastewater and storm water pump station located at Eighth Street and Coronado Avenue that pumps storm water and wastewater from the Country Club area. The station holds pumps, pipes, wet wells and electrical panels and operating control systems. On Monday, January 22nd, the pump station flooded internally which rendered the plant inoperable. As the flood waters were rising, electricity was turned off for safety and to preserve the equipment.

As a result, sewer service was lost to homes and businesses in the service area. Storm water could not be pumped away, leading to significant flooding on Eighth Street and the adjacent streets. Water was knee-deep in the Parker Pump Station site, which houses the existing pump station and the construction site for the $26 million replacement station.

City crews deployed stormwater pumps to Eighth and Alameda to draw water from the storm water pipe system to allow the flooded area to drain. This was accomplished Monday night. The Parker Pump Station was pumped out Monday night as well. The next day, on Tuesday, the City deployed a sewer bypass to pump wastewater out of the area. That day affected residents were advised that limited water use was possible for toilet flushing and hand washing.

The drinking water system was not affected. The City set up an overnight shelter at the Community Center.


What happened with the Parker Pump Station? Was it a loss of power similar to what happened in 2018?

In 2018, there was a power loss to the Parker Pump Station due to a water leak through a section of conduit which shorted out the electrical panel. Since then, the City maintains staffing onsite at the station during significant rain events.

On Monday, the plant outage was due to substantial internal flooding. As the flood water rose, staff who were onsite shut off the electricity for safety and to preserve the equipment. Crews immediately established a pumper truck assembly line and an external pump system to drain the plant. This was accomplished on Monday night. As the plant dried on Tuesday, crews assessed the electrical panels and control modules. Because the plant had been powered down, the control panel was salvageable, but the circuit breakers required replacement. Breakers were located out of the area and driven to Coronado. The

City’s electric contractor worked overnight to test and replace the breakers. Power was restored to the plant by Wednesday. The sewer and stormwater pumps were inspected and found to require parts. These parts were immediately sourced, some being driven to Coronado from Northern California. On Thursday, and Friday the pumps were rebuilt and tested, with crews troubleshooting numerous obstacles along the way.

The City has a replacement pump station currently under construction immediately adjacent to the existing pump station. This $26 million investment began in January 2023. The new project entails a new pump station and an above ground electrical control room. More information about the project can be found on the Parker Pump Station project webpage.


How did the City respond to the storm?

On Monday, first responders and City crews were helping protect lives and property. The City conducted several vehicle and home rescues as flood waters overtook cars and residences. There were no fatalities or injuries reported. After the storm, City crews cleared debris and damaged trees and were out in the field assessing the severity of the destruction to homes, businesses and the City infrastructure. On Monday night, the City declared a State of Emergency.

Repairs and clean-up have been ongoing since the storm. Crews have been working around the clock to restore service at the Parker Pump station. The City is also looking ahead to the next storm system and engaging in preparations.

The City placed dumpsters around the City for the community’s free use to dispose of storm-damaged material. A list of locations can be found here.

Several City facilities sustained damage in the storm. Click here for information about closures.


What does declaring a State of Emergency mean?

The City of Coronado declared a State of Emergency on Monday evening, January 22. The declaration is a prerequisite for applying for state and federal assistance for the significant damage from the storm. It allows the City to quickly obtain needed resources to respond to the storm event and ongoing damage.


Is there anything residents can do to help during a future storm?

The City welcomes the help of residents who live near a storm inlet with a grate. If residents notice clogging of the storm drain and it can be safely cleared, please do so. If you are unsure, please call the non-emergency number at 619.522.7350.

Homeowners can rake leaves and debris in the gutter around their home when they observe it and place it in their green waste carts or the debris in their trash. When a storm event occurs, this will help keep the stormwater flowing.


What is the City doing to prepare for the next storm?

As the City recovers from the January 22 storm, it is tracking the next weather system and making advance preparations. These include:

  • Street sweeping
  • Checking and cleaning storm drain inlets and outlets
  • Developing back-up storm and sewer pump systems for the County Club area
  • Deploying free sandbags for the community. These are in place as of noon, January 26that the following locations:
    1. Fourth St. and Alameda
    2. First St. and Alameda
    3. Ocean / Sunset Park
    4. Cays Park parking lot, near the Fire Station
    5. Second St. and A Avenue – (NEW LOCATION)
    6. Park Place by Rotary Park Downtown – (NEW LOCATION)

The City encourages residents to prepare their homes and businesses for future storms and has posted some Storm Preparedness Tips on the City website.


My business was affected by the storm flooding. What resources are available to assist?
The State of California has a website with information for businesses impact by the storms, including disaster assistance, FEMA loan assistance, and the Small Business Administration Loan program.


Will the City receive state or federal assistance for businesses or residents that sustained damages from the storm?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued a Major Disaster Declaration for San Diego County due to the impact of the January 22, 2024 storm. FEMA will offer individual assistance to qualifying residents and businesses who were affected by the flooding from the storm. If you were impacted by the January 22 flooding, you can apply for FEMA assistance by visiting disasterassistance.gov and clicking “Let’s Get Started.”

You can also call FEMA’s phone helpline at 1-800-621-3362 daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Low interest loans will also be offered for households and small businesses through the Small Business Administration.


How do I file a claim with the City?

Claims filed with the City must be made in writing using an online form available on the City website. Since the City is prohibited from providing legal advice, a claimant may choose to consult an attorney as deemed necessary. The request by the City for additional information about a claim should not be construed to mean that the City will accept liability. Any information provided will be evaluated as part of the investigative process.


How do I learn what’s going in during an emergency?

  • Locally, the City of Coronado will list news updates on the City website. Updates will also be posted on the City’s social media sites.
  • Residents can sign up for Nixle advisories and alerts here for a text or email message.
  • Residents can sign up for County alerts in the region via the County website.
Page last updated: 22 Feb 2024, 11:37 AM