Winds whip through Morro Bay, tossing boats off trailers - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Winds whip through Morro Bay, tossing boats off trailers

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Lynn Meissen has lived on her boat in Morro Bay Harbor for years, but she had never experienced anything like the winds that blew through Wednesday morning. 

"You know, you hear about them in the Midwest but not in California," Meissen said. 

Boats were tossed and thrown off their trailers when high winds tore through the harbor shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday. 

Meissen said her boat keeled over at least 20 degrees in the wind. 

"Everything slid off my table," Meissen said. "I was flabbergasted looking at the mess." 

Questions and speculations circulated through town about what it was that passed through. Harbor Patrol Supervisor Becka Kelly spoke with locals after trying to piece together what happened. 

"Sounds like we had what's called a water spout whip through this area here by the yacht club," Kelly said. "Within about 30 seconds, a cloud came down very low and had a very strong whipping wind that whipped through the yacht club storage yard."

Morro Bay Yacht Club member Dana McClish saw it too. 

"The wind came over here and picked up the boats like they were toys and just set them back down," McClish said. 

Harbor Patrol officials estimate the damage at $10,000. 

Residents along the bluffs watched a lamp post be ripped right out of the ground by the wind event. 
"The people in the houses [on the bluffs] said they watched it bend over like it was rubber," Kelly said. 

Before the wind finally dissipated, it whipped behind a storage hut adjacent to the yacht club storage lot, ripping a panel off the building and breaking off tree limbs in its path. 

While many locals said it was a first for them, Kelly thinks it might not be the last. 

"I think this is just the beginning of a very active winter for us," she said. 

Boat owners told KSBY they will be tying their boats down to their trailer in hopes of preventing this from happening again if another water spout or more strong winds blow through. 

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