Microburst destroys trees along San Diego River.

Large trees by San Diego River snapped by sudden violent microburst winds.
Large trees by San Diego River snapped by sudden violent microburst winds.

Late yesterday, a few minutes after five o’clock, a violent microburst tore through Mission Valley, several miles north of downtown San Diego. Similar microbursts occurred elsewhere around the city and county, bringing thunder and lightning, torrential downpours and extremely violent winds. San Diegans saw on the news how many small airplanes parked at Montgomery Field in Kearny Mesa (a few miles farther north) were thrown through the air and overturned like mere toys.

I was fortunate. I left the place where I work in Mission Valley half an hour early. Many of my coworkers weren’t so fortunate. One, walking to the Hazard Center trolley station, took shelter in a grocery store while the wind, sounding like an oncoming tornado, knocked over sturdy steel shopping cart corrals in the parking lot with ease. He reported the fury of the storm only lasted a few minutes.

Early this morning I walked along the pathway that follows the north side of the San Diego River. For better than a mile, from Qualcomm Way west well past Mission Center Road, I photographed the aftermath of the terrifying microburst. The amount of damage to the river’s lush canopy of trees was indescribable. Hundreds of trees, large and small, were torn to pieces or uprooted by the brief microbust.

These pics aren’t so cool, but they are interesting…

Popular pathway through Mission Valley is covered with miles of fallen trees.
Popular pathway through Mission Valley is covered with miles of fallen trees.
Walking along the river required fancy footwork the morning after the freak storm.
Walking along the river required fancy footwork the morning after the freak storm.
One of many trees torn to pieces next to residential buildings.
One of many trees torn to pieces next to residential buildings.
The late summer microburst came on a very hot, humid San Diego day.
The late summer microburst came on a very hot, humid San Diego day.
San Diego River seen behind devastated trees near walking path.
San Diego River seen behind devastated trees near walking path.
This hurricane-like rainstorm ended so quickly no severe flooding occurred.
This hurricane-like rainstorm ended so quickly no severe flooding occurred.

This sign talks about the history of flooding in Mission Valley, and how nature occasionally flushes out accumulated debris and keeps the river healthy. Because the storm was so brief, nature didn’t create much flooding yesterday–but it certainly created quite a bit of debris!

Many trees around the developed parts of Mission Valley were also uprooted!
Many trees around the developed parts of Mission Valley were also uprooted!

Tree trimming businesses and city workers converged in full force on Mission Valley today! Many truckloads of branches were hauled off from all over!

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

10 thoughts on “Microburst destroys trees along San Diego River.”

  1. Humbling, indeed! It’s hard to imagine how nature serves up its strength until a freak few minutes like what happened here along the San Diego River. Here in Florida, we know the strength of hurricanes. I remember, in 2005, we were standing behind the window facing the street in front of our home, and watched as the wind caused an uprooted tree to dance along the street on its merry way to…..?

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