Recent high tides and waves have damaged roadways in North County, and cities are scrambling to repair them before the tides fully recede.

Carlsbad declared a local emergency at a Council meeting on Dec. 15, after part of the shoulder on Highway 101 eroded. The move allows the city to avoid a lengthy CEQA analysis, and secure a contractor to repair the road without the Council’s approval.

That comes on the heels of Encinitas declaring its own local emergency on Dec. 3, to repair two sections of northbound Highway 101. Around Thanksgiving, the city learned high tides washed away embankments, to the edges of the pavement, in the mouth of the San Elijo Lagoon.

Although Encinitas already began repairs this week, Carlsbad will still need to secure emergency permits from the Coastal Commission to complete the construction.

But beyond the anticipated El Niño, the highest tides have not yet happened. Tide charts for San Diego predict the county is on the eve of the worst of it – 7.2 feet tides on Dec. 24 – about 1 foot higher than has been seen this season.

Oceanside also faced further damage to its beaches and a section of The Strand, a one-lane road that sits at sea level and carries traffic just feet from the tideline.

At the southern end of The Strand, the street was flooded this past month, and much of the sand at the base of the seawall has washed away, exposing rock and failing riprap. Deep holes also formed in the roadside when chunks of pavement crumbled into the riprap.

Oceanside approved its repairs six months ago, however, before the recent tides caused the most recent damage. An agreement approved in June calls for a developer of a condominium project that sits next to the damaged portion of The Strand to complete the road and seawall, and split the costs with the city.

Oceanside officials were unable to say how the new damage would affect that agreement, however, as the original engineering plans are still under review.

School District Scuffles

The Escondido Union School District may have violated the Brown Act when it held its first meeting after a restraining order was filed against Trustee Jose Fragozo, the Union-Tribune reports.

Don Green, president of the Escondido Taxpayers Association (and aide to Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery), told the trustees they were violating the open-meetings law because Fragozo was forced to telephone into the meeting from his home, which is not open and accessible to the public.

Fragozo has since found space in a San Marcos shopping center. (Union-Tribune)

In Poway, city employees removed signs that supported a recall effort for Poway Unified School District’s Andy Papatow. A city official said the signs violated Poway’s sign ordinance. (Pomerado News)

Also in the News

• Did you hear the desalination plant in Carlsbad has opened? (KPBS)

• An effort to improve cycling on a stretch of Coast Highway in Oceanside is spurring the city to complete a design to add bike lanes and reduce vehicle lanes. (Union-Tribune)

• Ramona residents don’t want the town to outsource its ambulance services. (Ramona Sentinel)

 Solana Beach approved a two-year extension for the entitlements of a mixed-use affordable housing project that has been held up in court by neighbors. (Del Mar Times)

Ruarri Serpa is a freelance writer in Oceanside. Email him at and find him on Twitter at @RuarriS.

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