Category Archives: Weather

Santee Residents Brave Rain for SanTree Fest

Cold, wind and the threat of rain couldn’t stop over 200 enthusiastic residents from coming out on Saturday, March 17, for the seventh annual SanTree Fest, held this year at Town Center Community Park. Nearly two dozen businesses and community groups manned booths with everything from health and nutrition to environmental awareness. While the weather forced the cancellation of some events and activities, there was still plenty for people to enjoy.

SanTree Fest is part Arbor Day, part Earth Day and a tribute to Santee’s continued status as a Tree City USA for the city’s commitment to having a well-planted community. In previous years the celebration has done landscaping at Cajon Park School and done planting and cleanup in Mast Park. This year’s projects included planting 40 trees in the green spaces around the Cameron Family YMCA and the creation of a “rock creek” to enhance the visual appeal of the area.

With the looming threat of heavy rain, tree planting was done immediately, with volunteers grabbing shovels and potted trees and heading out to pre-determined locations. In no time at all the trees were in the ground and volunteers were moving on to other activities. Many chose to help lay rocks for the new landscape feature, a sinuous pathway of large river rocks dotted with several small plants.

“It was super fun,” said one young participant from Pride Academy who helped with both the planting and the rock projects. “I’m in a group at school called Club Live, and this was a project we could work on.”

For those willing to get even more “down and dirty,” the Friends of Santee’s River Park and the city of Santee Community Services Department organized a cleanup of the nearby Woodglen Vista Creek which runs through a section of the park. This small tributary to the San Diego River received a much-needed clearing to prevent debris from being washed down into the river and then to the ocean. Among the hundreds of pieces of trash removed were an old tire and a shopping cart. Storm water will now flow more easily with less flooding.

Shannon Quigley-Raymond of the Friends of Santee’s River Park was on hand to share the group’s message with visitors to SanTree Fest and to encourage participation in future events. The Friends of Santee’s River Park is a chapter of the larger San Diego River Park Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the county’s namesake waterway. April will feature RiverBlitz – a survey of the San Diego River through Santee to identify problem areas – and an Earth Day clean up at Big Rock Park on the west side of the city. More information about the groups is available on their websites (see links above).

Another environmental group on hand was the San Diego Regional Urban Forest Council, an organization made up of a variety of public and private entities. The SDRUFC advocates for a variety of projects such as San Diego County’s Cool Communities Shade Tree Program and provides information about grants and public education initiatives. SDRUFC members Delia Juncal and Mike Palat were there to answer questions and provide information, including a handout on Water-Wise Tree Care for the San Diego Region.

While the turnout was not as large as previous years, Santee’s Special Events Supervisor Cherie Meek was still pleased with the results. “We probably had at least 200 people out here,” she said, “even with the weather.”

For more information about events in Santee, visit the City of Santee website.

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Rains Cause Problems along San Diego River

The week of rains that passed through San Diego County left quite a mark in Santee. One of the hardest-hit areas was the Carlton Oaks Country Club, which became Carlton Oaks Lake for several days. In addition to flooding out the golf course, the storms damaged a Padre Dam sewage pumping station near the golf course, caused 1.2 million gallons of sewage to spill into the river. It took several hours for workers to stop the flow and to install temporary lines to bypass the break.  Because of the contamination from this spill and other pollutants washed into the ocean over the past week, officials are recommending that people stay out of the water for at least the next 3 days. Currently there is no estimate on when the lake will return to its normal golf course conditions.

Egrets check out the fairway

Coots on Carlton Oaks "Lake"

Flooding from the swollen San Diego River

Rushing water on the golf course

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Keep Your Cool

It has finally turned summer in San Diego County as temperatures have been climbing in East County and the rest of the region. When it gets hot the danger of heat exhaustion or heat stroke climbs, especially for the elderly and disabled. So that’s why the County’s Health and Human Services Agency is reminding people to be careful not to get overheated and to keep hydrated when the temperatures climb. They also want everyone to watch out for neighbors who might have problems from the heat.

Often senior citizens and the disabled suffer more from heat because of physical conditions as well as the inability to cool down. Sometimes this is because they are unable to afford the extra expense of air conditioning. This is why the County Health and Human Services Agency and the County’s Aging and Independence Services, in conjunction with SDG&E, coordinate the Cool Zones program every summer and fall. This program will continue through October 31, covering most of the traditionally hot season.

Cool Zones are locations where residents can go to escape the heat during the high temperatures that hit parts of San Diego County in the summer and early fall. Although they are primarily provided to help seniors, these locations are generally open to anyone who needs them. Another benefit of these Cool Zones is that they give residents the option of sharing the air conditioning in a location rather than using their own, which helps to reduce energy use during peak periods.

Following is a list of some East County Cool Zone locations:

  • Alpine Community Library 1830 Alpine Blvd Alpine East CA 91901 M-F 9-4pm, S 10-1pm
  • Alpine County Library 2130 Arnold Ave. Alpine East CA 91901 T,TH 9:30-8pm, W 9:30-6pm, F,S 9:30-5pm
  • Christ the King Episcopal Church 1460 Midway Drive Alpine East CA 91901 Sunday 9-12pm
  • Christian Science Reading Room 8370 La Mesa Blvd La Mesa East CA 91941 M,W,Th,F 9-5, Tue 9-7, Sat 10-4pm
  • La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center 8450 La Mesa Blvd La Mesa East CA 91941 M-F 8-5pm
  • La Mesa Library 8074 Allison Ave La Mesa East CA 91941 M-Th 9:30-8pm, F,S 9:30-5pm, Sun 1-5pm
  • Rancho San Diego Library 11555 Via Rancho San Diego El Cajon East CA 92019 M 9:30-6pm, T, Th 9:30-8pm, W 9:30-6, F, S 9:30-5, Sun1-5
  • East County Regional Center 250 E Main St El Cajon East CA 92020 M-F 7am-5pm
  • El Cajon Library 201 E Douglas El Cajon East CA 92020 M-TH 9:30-8pm, F,S 9:30-5pm, Sun 1-5pm
  • Fletcher Hills Library 576 Garfield Ave El Cajon East CA 92020 T, Th 9:30-6pm, W 12-8pm, F, S 10-5pm
  • Crest Library 105 Juanita Lane El Cajon East CA 92021 T 12-8pm, W,Th 9:30-6pm, F 9:30-5pm, S 9:30-3pm
  • Salvation Army Senior Dining & Social Center 1011 E Main St El Cajon East CA 92021 M-F10:30-2pm
  • Lakeside Community Center 9841 Vine St Lakeside East CA 92040 M-F 12-8pm
  • Lakeside Library 9839 Vine St Lakeside East CA 92040 M, Th 9:30-6pm, T, W 9:30-8pm, F,S 9:30-5pm
  • Santee Library 9225 Carlton Hills Blvd. #17 Santee East CA 92071 M-TH 9:30-8pm, F,S 9:30-5pm, Sun1-5pm

For a complete list of all County Cool Zones click here.

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Hot Weather, Cool Zones

Well, we’re in another little heat wave and the weather folks are predicting temperatures around/over 100 here in Santee for Thursday.  If you or someone you know is stuck without air conditioning in this weather, there is an official Cool Zone located at the Public Library in the Carlton Oaks Center at Carlton Oaks and Carlton Hills Blvds.  If you are not in Santee, there are other Cool Zones around the County.  You can find them on the San Diego County Cool Zones List.

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What Goes Up…

What a difference a day makes.  On Wednesday, December 17, I went down to where Riverford Rd. crosses over the San Diego River.  I realize that isn’t technically Santee, but it was the best spot to take some pictures of the river after all the rain we have had.  Then I stopped there again on Thursday, December 18, and talk about a difference.  Much of the water had passed downstream and the river was back to its regular channel, although much higher than usual.  So, here are some pictures showing the “before and after” of the flooding.

Before 1



After 1




Before 2




After 1




Before 3





After 3



Before 4





After 4







If the latest weather reports are on target, we should see another repeat of these scenes this coming week.  But this time we may see more runoff and flooding, so be careful out there.

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Watch for High Water

Forester Creek

That, my dear readers, is a picture of the normally dry – or barely a trickle – Forester Creek where it passes under Mission Gorge Rd.  This is what happens when we get some real rain – over 3″ this week alone, according to weather reports.  I wish I had a picture from before the rains to compare, but I’m sure many of you have seen it while driving through town.  I thought it was quite impressive, and a testimony to the work that was done on restoring the channel.  If you remember what it looked like before the project, you can imagine what a mess this would have been without the work.  For those who don’t remember, it was choked with all sorts of non-native vegitation, including masses of the arunda reed, which has been a real problem in several local waterways.  With so much blocking the channel, this water would have been up over roads, into yards and parking lots, and just basically causing a real mess.

Forester Creek under Mission Gorge Road

This is also a reminder to stay away from these areas for the next several days as the water drains from surrounding hillsides, all the way from El Cajon and east to here.  This water is moving very fast, and anyone who has ever tried walking through a heavy stream knows how much power there is.  I saw several large clumps of reeds and bushes that had been uprooted and swept away.  Don’t let something like that happen to you.

Here are a few more pictures of Forester Creek at Mission Gorge Rd.

Forester Creek as it flows north under Mission Gorge Road

Flowing under Mission Gorge Rd.

Forester Creek north of Mission Gorge Rd.

Forester Creek north of Mission Gorge Rd.

Flooded Access Road from Mission Gorge Rd.

Flooded Access Road

Construction of Bridge over Forester Creek – Delayed

Bridge Construction Delayed

A bit later I will be posting some pictures of the San Diego River as well.

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And the HiTs (Hi Temps) Just Keep Coming

Okay, so I was wrong.  Friday was NOT hot enough for some folks.  This is at my house – the official temperature as reported on UndergroundWeather is:

Santee, Santee, California (PWS)
Updated: 1 min 11 sec ago
Partly Cloudy
106.5 °F / 41 °C
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 6%

Stay cool if you can.

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