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Bright yellow and orange signs warning of flooding left over from this weekend’s rains were still scattered along Fashion Valley Road in Mission Valley this morning, near where Mayor Jerry Sanders announced his office’s intent to wrap up the city’s flood-mitigation plan in the next month.

Road flooding and destruction in Mission Valley, sustained in a major flood two years ago, is “far more than a seasonal inconvenience,” Sanders said at a press conference this morning. Flooding not only creates traffic jams caused by detours, he said, but significantly handicaps public safety officers like police and firefighters.

“The next possible catastrophic failure in infrastructure in this area is only as far away as the next rain,” he said. “This is an unacceptable set of circumstances.”

Sanders also identified other vulnerable areas in the city, like La Jolla and the part of the Tijuana River Valley that falls under the city’s jurisdiction.

The flood plan is the last step San Diego must take to meet the requirements laid out in the 2000 Federal Disaster Mitigation Act, and its completion gives the city the framework to apply for grant funding from bodies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Funding for drafting the plan came from a grant from the Federal Highways Association.

For the history of the flooding problems facing Mission Valley, check out Will Carless‘ excellent story here.

To gather public input to shape the last pieces of the plan, the Mayor’s Office will hold three meetings in the next two weeks:

  • Mission Valley: Feb. 28 at 6:00 p.m. at the Mission Valley Branch Library
  • San Ysidro: March 1 at 6:00 p.m. at the San Ysidro Community Service Center
  • La Jolla: March 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the La Jolla/Riford Branch Library

Once that part of the plan is complete, in about a month, the city will submit the document to FEMA and expects soon after to be eligible to apply for federal grants to address some of the needs identified in the meetings.

For updates from the Mayor’s Office on the status of the plan, click here for his new website.

KELLY BENNETT

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