The Oceano Dunes were quite the sight Monday afternoon, with ominous-looking storm clouds and crashing waves coming closer and closer to shore.
“This is kind of spectacular, the size of the waves, and it’s a neat time cause it’s not too crowded but you can see a lot of folks coming out to see before the storm,” said tourist Kevin Broderick.
Some people were getting in the elements more than others, like Molly Adamo and her friends who kept their plans for ATV riding despite the forecast.
“We knew with the raindrops and going on the ATV it’s a little hard to see. The rain was pounding but we just made sure to go around the hills, but it was a little scary,” Adamo said.
So what type of weather would it take for the Oceano Dunes to close completely? State Parks Ranger Sgt. Michael Lack says it would have to be a pretty significant storm.
“If the waves are coming up onto the entrance ramp, it makes it difficult for people to access the park, so at that point, we’re going to stop access, but we don’t necessarily close the park, we just stop letting people in,” Sgt. Lack explained.
While the dunes are still open during the rain, business is still pretty slow for the shops nearby.
“Hopefully Friday and throughout the weekend we still get a couple stragglers for business but it probably will be pretty dead for the most part,” said Danika Johnson, employee at California Coast Candy.
Sgt. Lack says there are more than 40 camping reservations for Thursday and close to 70 for the weekend.
Rangers at the dunes say it’s been several years since a storm has been bad enough to close the park. State Parks says reservation companies would give notice to campers if they are going to close.