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Storm traps hotel residents in Mission Valley neighborhood, shuts down SeaWorld

December 22, 2010 |  1:26 pm

Powerful rains in San Diego shut down SeaWorld, trapped hotel residents in the city's Mission Valley neighborhood and flooded Qualcomm Stadium's football field, according to local media reports.

KCAL-TV Channel 9 aired dramatic footage from a helicopter showing stranded guests on balconies looking at floodwaters surrounding the Premier Inn, a multistory hotel.  The surrounding waters nearly covered the tops of cars.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that floodwaters were surrounding the Fashion Valley Mall near the San Diego River. The newspaper also reported that Qualcomm Stadium's football field was underwater, just a day before the Poinsettia Bowl.

The Union-Tribune also reported that an Inglewood High School basketball team, visiting San Diego for a tournament, was successfully evacuated before dawn Wednesday from the Comfort Inn & Suites Zoo/Sea World.

"All of the sudden, the lights went out and everything went black," Coach Patrick Roy told the newspaper. "People were banging on our doors about 6 a.m. saying we have to evacuate."

The National Weather Service said that in addition to the San Diego River, the Santa Margarita River in San Diego County and the Mojave River in southwest San Bernardino County were flooding.


Even the sea lions in Laguna Canyon are forced to evacuate

Koi swept onto streets from Laguna Canyon commercial pond

Hundreds evacuated in San Juan Capistrano as creek bed collapses

-- Rong-Gong Lin II