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All hands on deck for local agencies as cleanup efforts follow storm

Posted at 5:30 PM, Dec 12, 2022

A break from the rain means local tree service companies are out in force helping homeowners and the City of San Luis Obispo find and clear any fallen trees.

“Basically, with the combination of wind and rain, we’ve had a couple of storms already so the ground is saturated. When we have high winds, that’s when trees become unstable because basically, the soil isn’t strong enough to support like when it’s dry," said SLO City Biologist Freddy Otte.

For the City of San Luis Obispo, storm cleanup means teaming up with local contractors to get the job done.

“Preparation is going to entail additional surveys around bridges to make sure there aren’t debris jams or any other fallen trees we haven’t seen or heard about," Otte added.

That’s where Bunyon Bros., a local tree service company, comes in.

“We had calls all of Saturday night, all through the night and all day Sunday. Today, in total, I think we’ve had 30-35 emergency calls with trees on houses, carports, blocking off roads," said owner Ron Rinell.

He says every tree is different and requires different types of attention.

“Currently, this tree here is resting on the house so we're craning it off strategically as possible without doing extra damage to the house or the people’s property," Rinell explained.

The storm cleanup is just getting started.

“There’s many trees that are compromised currently right now as we speak, and they will be almost just about falling over and they can anytime still, and any type of wind right now would be devasting for the county," Rinell said.

The City of San Luis Obispo says every department is out inspecting for damage.

The Office of Sustainability and Natural Resources focuses on flood control like creeks, while the Public Works Department has eyes on city streets.