By Doug Curlee | Editor at Large
Many businesses face more flooding when rains hit
By the beginning of October, or thereabouts, we may see city of San Diego crews beginning to clean out the channel that brings Alvarado Creek down through Grantville to the San Diego River.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the cleanup will not extend to the section of the creek where heavy flooding happened after just two days of rain in July.
The reason is simple, although hard to take for people whose businesses were knee-high in water in July. The area is not under the control of the city of San Diego. It’s under the control of the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) – the trolley folks.
Unlike the city, MTS has not gotten the approval from the various agencies that have a piece of the action along the creek – only the city has done that, and only the city can legally go in and work to clear the channel of some of the bushes, trees, rocks and concrete slabs and general trash blocking the flow of water.
Many in the Grantville area blame MTS for a lot of the blockage, anyway, claiming that MTS left a lot of concrete chunks in the creek bed as a result of the construction of the Grantville Trolley station.
Calls to MTS for comment about this went unreturned.
No one is saying there will be a cleaned-out, spotless, free-flowing channel there when the cleanup is done. There are so many trees, bushes and plants that environmental concerns will not allow to be cut down. You can see where that leads by looking at the major river channel through Mission Valley.
Property owner Dan Smith, who’s been fighting this battle along with other businesses along lower Mission Gorge Road for years, is totally frustrated. His son David, vice president of the property company, says it’s really wearing people down.
“We’ve taken to renting concrete barriers to line the creek bed along our property line, even though we know it won’t do much good. If we get more rains, and we will, the water will just surge around them and we’re flooded again.”
A look at the line of barriers confirms that. They would do little to keep the water out, and might even make the recovery process slower by actually keeping floodwaters in.
The bitter irony here is that we’re only talking about roughly 500 feet of creek bed here between the two sections that will be cleaned out, but it’s 500 feet that will affect as many as 50 or 60 businesses.
They’ve been through this before – the creek bed was last cleaned out in 2010 – and they hate having to go through it again. But they may have no choice.
–Doug Curlee is the editor at large. Write to him at email@example.com.