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All hands on deck: Local cities, residents brace for storm

Posted at 8:48 PM, Jan 26, 2021

Local cities and residents are prepared for the incoming storm.

"Bring it on. We need the rain," Krista Kindred of Morro Bay said.

The wet weather and wind are expected to deliver a one, two punch.

The Morro Bay Community Center may serve as an evacuation center depending on flooding and other potential damage from the storm.

"I'm getting five bags and I'm putting them in front of the garage door because we have a slope and the water runs down and if there's not enough room for it to drain, it's just going to go into the garage," Kindred said.

Flooding, mudslides, downed trees and power lines are all top of mind.

"This year because we had the Avila Fire last summer we did want to have additional preparation," Jorge Garcia, City of Pismo Beach Management Services Director, said.

Each city is assessing what could happen given the recent history of fires or previous flooding.

In Pismo Beach, equipment like a vactor truck to suck up water and a front loader are staged in front of City Hall.

It's all hands on deck.

"We will have additional crews on standby," Garcia said. "All of our city personnel, that includes public works, police, fire."

Extra staffing on standby is standard across the board.

Caltrans crews are monitoring the roads. A 44-mile stretch of Highway 1 from Ragged Point to the Big Sur Inn is now closed.

"This closure which will last until Thursday is in support of the evacuations that may be possible given the weather and given the impacts left by the Dolan Fire," Jim Shivers, Caltrans District 5 Public Information Officer, said.

Stores like Miner's Ace Hardware in Morro Bay are seeing storm supplies selling fast.

"I knew storms were coming. Unfortunately, the tarp I got had strings in it. It was too darn small so today I replaced it with a bigger tarp," Sid Symington, Customer at Miner's Morro Bay, said.

Anything that produces light or heat is flying off the shelves in addition to flood proofing materials.

"Right here, we have Henry's which people are going to use on their roofs to seal any leaks like that, prepare for more water that's coming," Kurtis Karnes, Miner's Morro Bay Store Manager, said.

As the dry conditions turn into more seasonable weather, Central Coast residents are bracing to batten down the hatches and let mother nature get to work.

"We need the rain so bad," Kindred said.

"We've been missing storms so it's about time to have one," Symington added.

Residents are encouraged to stay home and off the roads Wednesday and Thursday.

If you see large trees or power lines knocked down or see significant flooding, call 911.