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1 person dead after vehicle gets overtaken by water in Avila Beach

Avila Beach Drive closed
Avila Beach Drive flooding
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jan 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-09 20:20:07-05

San Luis Obispo County Emergency Services Manager Scott Jalbert says one person died along Avila Beach Drive after their vehicle got caught in floodwaters. "Our final message to everyone is if you do not have to travel, please stay off the roadways," he said.

Jalbert initially said two people had died in Avila Beach but later updated that to be just one. CHP has identified the victim as a woman. A 5-year-old boy is also missing after another vehicle got swept into floodwaters in the Paso Robles area.

As severe weather moves into the Central Coast bringing high winds and severe flooding, the County of San Luis Obispo has activated its Emergency Operations Center and proclaimed a local emergency.

Jalbert says, "Obviously this is a very large storm. Probably the largest storm we've seen in the most recent years." Jalbert adds, about 2:30 P.M. Monday, the county has seen anywhere from two to seven inches of rain.

The National Weather Services has issued a flood warning unit 4:00 P.M for almost all of San Luis Obispo County. County officials say this will most likely be extended if the rain continues.

Officials are urging residents to be very diligent especially those who live near creeks or moving waterways to keep an eye on the situation. Jalbert emphasized, "If you think things are going awry, evacuate." "We're seeing our creeks and rivers flow like they haven't flown in decades so they're monstrous."

City of Paso Robles updated its evacuation warning into an evacuation order for residents near the Salinas Riverbed.

The City of Atascadero and the City of San Luis Obispo have issued shelter-in-place orders. San Luis Obispo has activated temporary evacuation locations at the Marigold Shopping Center and the Foothill Shopping Center. Crews are working to set up additional evacuation centers throughout the county.

As of 3:42 P. M. Search and rescue operations for a child missing in the Paso Robles area have been discontinued. The Sheriff's Dive Team has discontinued the search for the missing 5-year-old after several hours of searching because the extreme weather conditions became too unsafe for first responders. They will reevaluate the weather conditions to see when they can resume the search.

Multiple road closures also remain in place around SLO County including Highway 101 and surface streets. A list of other closures is available here.