Firefighter heroes in a drill downtown.

During my walk this morning through downtown San Diego I saw numerous firefighters and fire engines participating in a Sunday fire drill. It was a simulation of an emergency in a high-rise.

I thought you might enjoy a few photos of these true heroes in action!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Support the House of Puerto Rico disaster relief effort.

Donations were collected during the House of Puerto Rico's lawn program in Balboa Park to assist with disaster relief.
Donations were collected during the House of Puerto Rico’s lawn program in Balboa Park to assist with disaster relief.

Here’s an opportunity to help the people of Puerto Rico who’ve been thrown into a terrible crisis by Hurricane Maria. The devastation brought by this natural disaster is unprecedented. Every bit of help is vitally important.

By sheer coincidence, the House of Puerto Rico had their International Cottages lawn program today in Balboa Park. A collection jar was there for donations, and proceeds from food sales went to hurricane relief.

I also learned that there’s a donation button on the House of Puerto Rico website, which you’ll find here.

Please consider providing these good people with a bit of support.

Puerto Rican food at the special event included Arroz con Gandules, Pastel de Masa and Alcapurrias.
Puerto Rican food at the special event included arroz con gandules, pastel de masa and alcapurrias.
If you missed the event, click the link I've included to visit the Hurricane Maria donation page.
If you missed the event, click the link I’ve included to visit the House of Puerto Rico website. There you will see a Hurricane Maria donation button.
Among the many displays inside the House of Puerto Rico cottage are panderetas, cencerros and other musical instruments.
Among the many displays inside the House of Puerto Rico cottage are panderetas, cencerros and other musical instruments.
Students inside the Balboa Park cottage learn about the special economic challenges of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean.
Students inside the Balboa Park cottage learn about the special economic challenges of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean.
Many people have loved ones in Puerto Rico. Heroic efforts are underway to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.
Many people have loved ones in Puerto Rico. Heroic efforts are underway to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.

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Photos of San Diego River, after three storms.

The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level--I believe--of around 11 feet.
The swollen San Diego River after three winter storms in six days. A gauge beside the water shows the river has subsided to about the 8 foot mark, after reaching a high level–I believe–of around 11 feet.

I did some walking in a drizzle this morning before work.

I got off the trolley at the Fashion Valley station and proceeded to investigate the San Diego River in a section of Mission Valley that is often hit with flooding. Three very rainy winter storms were finally coming to an end. What did I see?

Palm trees surrounded by river water. Photo taken between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
Palm trees surrounded by flowing river water. Photo taken from the pedestrian bridge between the Fashion Valley Transit Center and the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.
A tall eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.
A tall, shallow-rooted eucalyptus tree knocked over by the gusty winter storms. A common sight around San Diego.
Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River's water had subsided to street level.
Fashion Valley Road this morning was still blocked off from traffic, even though the San Diego River’s water had subsided to street level.
A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!
A friendly San Diego Lifeguard makes the rounds to make sure nobody needs a swift water rescue. My photo just missed his wave!
The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.
The parking structures at Fashion Valley Mall that are susceptible to flooding were definitely well underwater. Thank goodness, I saw no submerged cars.
Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.
Bright green grass and dark clouds. I was sheltered from raindrops by the trolley tracks overhead.
As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio south of the mall. The short street is appropriately named!
As usual, the San Diego River was flooding Avenida del Rio just south of the mall. The short, dipping street is appropriately named!
Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.
Yesterday someone foolishly trying to walk through this powerful moving water had to be rescued. They got washed away. A helicopter was even brought in.
No worries about flooding for the trolley--at least right here!
No worries about flooding for the trolley–at least right here!
The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to work. Good thing I got an early start!
The Highway 163 underpass was flooded and muddy. I had to walk another way around to reach work. Good thing I got an early start!
Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname--the Upside Down River.
Sign by the San Diego River. The low rainfall and the geologic composition historically allowed the river to run below ground much of the year, hence the nickname: the Upside Down River.
The beautiful river this morning through leaves.
The beautiful river this morning through leaves.
Morning sky and clouds through bare winter river trees.
Morning sky and clouds through bare winter trees.
The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!
The San Diego River is unusually wide in its swollen state after the storms. It looks like an honest-to-goodness actual river!
Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.
Walking along Mission Center Road in the rain by the San Diego River.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Zombies gather in park, prepare to attack city.

Saturday evening, an army of zombies was spotted gathering in San Diego's Children's Park, getting ready to attack innocent humans attending 2016 Comic-Con.
Saturday evening, an army of zombies was spotted gathering in San Diego’s Children’s Park, getting ready to attack thousands of innocent humans attending 2016 Comic-Con.

I made it out alive. As you’ll see–just barely.

The 2016 San Diego Comic-Con zombie walk featured a huge army of bloodthirsty undead. They gathered in Children’s Park this evening and prepared to attack innocent humans hanging around San Diego’s nearby Gaslamp Quarter. I got away before the carnage began.

I was quickly reminded that I was living meat, so I kept a very careful distance. And I prayed these were slow zombies.
I was quickly reminded that I was living meat, so I kept a very careful distance. And I prayed these were slow zombies.
The undead kept gravitating toward the city park. Where they came from, I don't know. But they were on a mission. They planned to swarm into the nearby Gaslamp Quarter, where it was dinnertime and they could feast on innocent diners.
The undead kept gravitating toward the city park. Where they came from, I don’t know. They were on a mission. They planned to swarm into the nearby Gaslamp Quarter, where it was dinnertime and they could feast on innocent diners.
Many of these walking dead appeared to be in a rather state of poor health. Why did they keep eyeing me?
Many of these walking dead appeared to be in a rather poor state of health. Why did they keep eyeing me?
Goodness! Even a magical woodland fairy succumbed to the zombie plaque. I'm not sure why I'm hanging around.
Goodness! Even a magical woodland fairy succumbed to the zombie plague. I’m not sure why I’m hanging around.
Oh, horrors! Trump and Hillary have both become zombies! I guess we're all doomed no matter what.
Oh, horrors! Trump and Hillary have both become zombies! I guess we’re all doomed no matter what.
I've seen this gruesome dude before. I think I have a photo of him on my blog from another zombie walk. I guess the undead never die.
I’ve seen this gruesome dude before. I think I have a photo of him on my blog from another San Diego zombie walk. I guess the undead really never die.
This guy could use a moist towelette and very large bandage.
This guy could use a moist towelette and very large bandage.
How sweet. Mom zombie and son zombie are going to join the coming rampage. Family time together is heartwarming and wonderful.
How sweet. Mom zombie and son zombie are going to join the coming rampage. Family time together is so heartwarming and wonderful.
Unless, of course, Mom takes a bite of her unsuspecting son. I guess she couldn't wait to devour normal human flesh.
Unless, of course, Mom zombie takes a bite of her undead son. I guess she couldn’t wait to seek out normal human flesh.
This must be the hippest, best dressed zombie I ever saw. A hostess might be tricked and let him into one of those more fancy restaurants in the Gaslamp.
This must be the hippest, best dressed zombie I ever saw. A hostess might be tricked and let him into one of those more fancy restaurants in the Gaslamp.
When you're a zombie, and you want to video the coming carnage, what do you do? You jam a GoPro directly into your skull. Just keep the lens clean.
When you’re a zombie, and you want to video the coming carnage, what do you do? You jam a GoPro directly into your bloody skull. Just keep the lens clean.
I don't think plastic surgery will fix that.
I don’t think plastic surgery will fix that.
The zombies listened (to the best of their ability) as the plan of attack was laid before them. The city's living residents seemed doomed. I thought it wise at this point to discretely walk away.
The zombies listened (to the best of their ability) as the plan of attack was laid before them. The city’s living residents seemed completely doomed. I thought it wise at this point to discretely walk away.
Oh, no! Too late!
Oh, no! Too late!

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Boats destroyed by El Nino winds in San Diego.

Catamaran driven into the rocks near the Grape Street pier during an El Nino storm in downtown San Diego.
Catamaran driven into the rocks near the Grape Street pier during an El Nino storm in downtown San Diego.

Yesterday and last night an El Nino-driven storm produced very strong winds throughout San Diego. Last night as I lay in bed I listened to the wind howl and powerful gusts shake my building. So this morning I figured I’d get up and see if any damage occurred downtown.

Large branches were down, and one tree lay on the sidewalk on State Street just south of Cedar. But when I reached the Embarcadero, I saw some real devastation. Many boats had been driven aground, and were either submerged or partially submerged.

Here are some photos. They aren’t cool.  But they are newsworthy.  I feel badly for the people who lost their boats.

Masts of a sailboat rise above the water the morning after fierce winds buffeted San Diego's Embarcadero.
Masts of a sailboat rise above the water the morning after fierce winds buffeted San Diego’s Embarcadero.
All the local television news stations had cameras at the scene. The images were truly devastating.
All the local television news stations had cameras at the scene. The images were truly devastating.
Resident of catamaran driven aground on deck of half-submerged boat. I wish her well in this difficult situation.
Resident of catamaran driven aground on deck of half-submerged boat. I wish her well in this difficult situation.
The seagulls were enjoying the stiff chilly morning breeze, but the worst of the gusts seem to be over by sunrise.
The seagulls were enjoying the stiff chilly morning breeze, but the worst of the gusts seem to be over by sunrise.
Another boat was driven up against the boardwalk between the Hornblower dock and Maritime Museum. Just the mast was sticking out from the churning bay.
Another boat was driven up against the boardwalk between the Hornblower dock and Maritime Museum. Just the mast was sticking out from the churning bay.
Several more boats piled up right next to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Several more boats piled up right next to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
A small boat between the museum's deep diving Dolphin submarine and the pilings. I was told the restored Swift Boat owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego sustained some damage.
A small boat between the museum’s deep diving Dolphin submarine and the pilings. I was told the restored Swift Boat owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego sustained some damage.
The effects of El Nino winds seen up close. The wind howled during the night, and in the morning light, the damage became apparent.
The effects of El Nino winds seen up close. The wind howled during the night, and in the morning light, the damage became apparent.

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