By Miriam Raftery
June 8, 2014 (Borrego Springs)—For decades, Borrego Springs has been draining down its aquifer at an increasingly rapid pace. If action is not taken soon, a new report warns, the community could face dire consequences.
The Borrego Water Coalition invites the public to a public outreach meeting on Thursday, June 12 from 4:30 to 7 p.m at the Borrego High School Library, 2281 Diegueno Road in Borrego Springs.
By Miriam Raftery
September 11, 2013 (San Diego) – Today, Supervisors approved the acquisition of over 14 acres of vacant land adjacent to Borrego Valley airport. The purchase aims to create a buffer zone between the airport and private properties to protect approach and departure routes. The property is listed for sale at $20,000.
No one spoke in favor of the measure. One speaker, Robert Germann of Lakeside, spoke against, calling it a “waste of taxpayer money.”
Update 3:30 p.m.: Power has been fully restored to all residents.
By Miriam Raftery
September 7, 2013 (Borrego Springs) – Severe weather knocked out power yesterday afternoon ito 2700 SDG&E customers in Borrego Springs and nearby communities. An estimated 760 households remain without power today in Borrego and Shelter Valley as temperatures climb to triple digits.
SDG&E estimates power will be restored at 7 p.m. “Currently, we have restored some emergency power to a portion of the community. This has enabled the county to open a cool zone at the library on Palm Canyon Drive,” an SDG&E advisory sent to residents advises.
“There was hardly anyone in town, no gas, can’t pump with no power,” Borrego resident Bob Kutscher informed ECM this morning.
September 3, 2013 (Borrego) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning in effect through 5:30 p.m. for central San Diego County. At 3:54 p.m., Doppler radar estimated that heavy rainfall of up to two and a half inches had fallen northwest of Hot Springs Mountain in Cleveland National Forest. This area is drained by Coyote Creek, which empties just north of Borrego Springs.
Rapid rises in the creek are possible. In addition residents in and below recently burned areas and those living along streams and creeks should move to high ground. Do not attempt to cross swiftly flowing waters by foot or in your vehicle.
September 1, 2013 (Borrego Springs) - Bob Kutscher shot this stunning sunset photo in the Anza-Borrego desert after a recent storm. You can still see clouds nestled in the valleys, he observed.
By Miriam Raftery
August 25, 2013 (Borrego) --A flash flood watch has been elevated to a flash flood warning today for north and central areas of East County, where heavy rain and flash flooding is occurring. Heaviest rains are from Shelter Valley north to Borrego Springs, including areas burned by the Vallecito Fire and Banner fire.
Debris flows and flooding are occurring in these areas. A SIG ALERT has been issued for Highway 78, which has been shut down in the San Felipe/Monument Valley area, where boulders have washed into the roadway. At Tarantula Wash, one-way traffic controls will remain in effect for several days until roadway repairs can be done, according to the CHP website.
Campgrounds may be impacted by flash floods and debris flows. Excessive runoff will also cause flooding of small creeks, streams, country roads and farmlands nearby.
A flash flood warning remains in effect for a broader area in our local mountains and deserts. Monitor the news to learn if this becomes elevated to a flash flood warning, which means flooding is eminent or occurring.
“Today we had the worst flash flooding we have seen in years,” Bob Kutscher, a resident of Borrego Springs on Velite Drive, a main floodway for the Hellhole Canyon watershed wrote in an e-mail to ECM. Here is a video that he shot of the flash flood on his roadway this afternoon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky2fhdoiHpA.
Photo: Debris in roadway at Ocotillo; photo by Jim Pelley
July 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- A flash flood watch has been issued for San Diego County’s mountains and deserts through Monday evening. Thunderstorms and heavy showers are forecast over mountain and desert areas. Flash flooding threat will remain high through early Monday night, especially in areas recently burned by fires.
This evening, flash flooding caused a rocky ride for motorists on roadways in East County’s mountains and deserts. Mudslides caused major delays along Highway 78 at Yaqui Pass in the Anza-Borrego area. Boulders in the roadway are blocking Montezuma Valley Road, forcing closure. Portions of S-2 and Borrego Valley Road are also shut down due to flooding and debris.
By Janis Mork
January 11, 2013 (San Diego)- On January 9, San Diego Supervisors unanimously agreed to direct the chief administrative officer to work with Borrego Water District to design a plan to address long-term sustainability of groundwater in the Borrego Valley and to report back with potential recommendations.
The ordinance states that “groundwater is being pumped at rates that exceed natural replenishment. This situation referred to as an ‘overdraft condition’ has existed for several decades…. It is the cumulative impact of all users that has resulted in this condition.” An amendment has been proposed to the Groundwater Ordinance to require that private projects fully offset their water use.
At the meeting, a first reading of the groundwater ordinance amendment was read. On January 30, it will be read for a second time and be considered for adoption for the board.
By Ariele Johannson
January 15, 2013 (Ramona)--On a warm spring morning in the Upper Borrego Valley in 2003, the last 29 wild horses in East County--were rounded up by helicopters and driven into pens. They were then removed from Coyote Canyon and trucked to a sanctuary in South Dakota through a snow storm with temperatures 4º below zero.
October 20, 2011 (Borrego Springs) – An “extreme parade” this Saturday promises to be a memorable highlight in this year’s Borrego Days Desert Festival October 21-23.
The parade will kick off with a choreography of skydivers “dancing in the clouds,” followed by a flyover by planes from the Hammer-Heads. For added excitement, daredevil motorcycle stunt rider Robbie Maddison will serve as grand marshal of the parade.
October 11, 2011 (Borrego Springs) – San Diego Sheriff’s homicide unit is investigating the deaths of a man and woman in the 2000 block of Saint Thomas Drive in Borrego Springs.
Detectives went to the home after receiving a call last night at 6:14 p.m. requesting a welfare check on a female at the residence. Deputies arrived and through a window saw an apparently deceased man on the sofa. After entering the home, they confirmed his death and also found the body of a dead female in the kitchen.
October 6, 2011 (Borrego) –If you plan to enjoy Anza-Borrego this fall, why not make your visit a learning adventure? Deepen your connection to nature, strengthen your understanding of the environment, and of course, have fun. The Anza-Borrego Foundation announces a variety of fall classes and tours in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. For the full list, visit their website at http://theabf.org/events and scroll down for highlights.
MORE THAN A THOUSAND FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING GREAT FIRE; BLAZE BURNING N ANZA BORREGO STATE PARK AND FEDERAL FOREST LANDS
October 2, 2011 (Borrego) – Cal Fire reports that the Great Fire, which started south of 78 near Julian yesterday (see ECM report ), has grown to 2,000 acres and is only 5% contained, Cal Fire spokesoperson Roxanne Provaznik confirms.
The fire has burned over the top of Granite Mountain, heading east into Anza Borrego Desert State Park and federal lands.
September 14, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Lightning strikes have ignited two small brush fires in Shelter Valley, between Julian and Borrego Springs, Cal Fire confirms.
August 26, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory today for mountain areas in San Diego County. Strong and persistent thunderstorms are occurring with heavy rainful just west of the Eagle Fire burn scar between Anza Borrego and Warner Springs.
August 5, 2011 (Borrego) – Famed stargazing columnist/expert Dennis Mammana informs ECM that the aurora borealis, better known as the Northern Lights, may be visible tonight on the West Coast starting around 9:45 p.m.(View the "aurora webcam" in Alaska here)
“Sky watchers in Europe are getting one whale of an auroral display right now,” Mammana wrote at 3:45 today, adding that viewing will be best and high and middle latitudes, though the spectacular sky show is also expected to be visible at low latitudes.
July 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Cal Fire warns of a high risk of flash floods and debris flow in areas burned by the Eagle Fire tonight through Sunday. Rob Balfour, National Weather Service Incident Meteorologist assigned to the Eagle Fire, forecasts a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms over the burned area. An estimated 0.15 to 0.68 inches of rain could occur all at once, or in several episodes. Intense rainfall is most likely late Saturday afternoon/evening and again on Sunday.
Rainfall rates as low as 0.15 inches in a 20 minute period are capable of producing debris flows and flash floods in recently burned drainage basins, which include popular camping areas in Anza-Borrego.
Areas at risk of flooding or debris flows include:
Community members voice concerns over military training center on reservation, seek answers as to cause of wildfire that now exceeds $2.5 million in firefighting costs
By Miriam Raftery
UPDATE 3:20 p.m. VIEW MAP OF EAGLE FIRE
July 24, 2011 (Warner Springs) – “Fire crews have made good progress constructing containment lines,” Cal-Fire’s Roxanne Provaznik reports this morning. The Eagle Fire has scorched 10,800 acres and is currently 35% contained. Two firefighters have suffered minor injuries, Provaznik disclosed.
In Anza Borrego-Desert state park, portions of Palm Canyon and Indian Canyon have burned according to posts by firefighters at a wildfire firefighting forum.
April 13, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Craig Peterson, 52, was shot and killed this afternoon by a San Diego Sheriff’s sergeant at a rest stop near Interstate 8 and Highway 79. Peterson was a “person of interest” in the stabbing death this morning of a 72-year-old man in Borrego Springs.
April 9, 2011 (Borrego) – A female hiker, 61, was airlifted out of Palm Canyon in the Anza Borrego Desert this afternoon after suffering a possible fractured hip, Deputy Scott Bligh with the San Diego Sheriff Search and Rescue reports.
Copter 12, crewed by San Diego Sheriff’s and Cal-Fire personnel, were dispatched to assist Borrego Fire personnel.
March 20, 2011 (Borrego Springs) – Copter 10, crewed by Cal-Fire and San Diego Sheriff personnel, was dispatched to aid a downed hiker in Palm Canyon in the desert at Borrego Springs around 4:55 today. “Initial reports were that the victim had overdosed on a hallucinogenic drug and had possibly sustained a spinal injury,” Deputy Scott Bligh said.
February 22, 2011 (Borrego) -- San Diego Sheriff's Department helicopter, Copter 10, crewed by Cal-Fire and Sheriff's personnel launched from their base at Gillespie Field in El Cajon to assist emergency services personnel already on scene at the trail head of Palm Canyon in Anza Borrego. Initial reports this morning were that a hiker had sustained unknown injuries and was unable to make it out of the canyon and back to the trail head.