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Arroyo Grande declares local emergency after flooding displaces residents

Posted at 10:47 PM, Jan 18, 2023

Like many areas locally, southern San Luis Obispo County continues to deal with damage from severe flooding.

The City of Arroyo Grande has declared a local emergency after flooding left several homes uninhabitable.

People who live along Tally Ho Road are cleaning up from flooding that tore through homes along Corbett Canyon Creek.

“About every five or six years we get a flood like this, and it comes in and it goes until about six inches under the windows of the house over here,” said John Soares while pointing to a home that has been red tagged.

Floodwater inundated several homes and nearly reached the windowsill of one house on Tally Ho Road which is now uninhabitable.

A man who lives at the home but did not want to go on camera says the property has flooded four times in the past 25 years.

He does not plan on rebuilding and is now looking for a new home.

“It’s pretty tough on all the people that go underwater. All the furniture, the mattresses soak all the water up,” said Soares, who lives in a newer home that was built on raised ground to avoid flooding.

“I had to fill in with dirt and get above with the soil compaction engineers and get above the crown of the street,” he explained.

Neighboring older homes suffered the brunt of the damage, and some are now unlivable.

“It was really severe, and some people literally lost everything,” said Arroyo Grande Mayor Pro Tem Kristen Barneich.

Some relief is now on the way.

The City of Arroyo Grande has partnered with the 5Cities Homeless Coalition to launch a fundraiser for people who suffered storm damage.

“We have a community that’s full of volunteers that always roll up their sleeves to help. So, I love that we can direct them and make this impact to help our neighbors get back on their feet,” said Barneich.

The money raised will go to people impacted by flooding from Avila Beach south to Nipomo.

The 5Cities Homeless Coalition is currently working with five residents displaced by flooding.

“Hopefully, it’s a temporary situation and we can help get them back into either their house or into another unit,” said Executive Director Janna Nichols, who adds that people started reaching out for help almost immediately.

“Not only did we have a number of volunteers step up during the storm to help us at our warming center, but we also saw a number of donations,” said Nichols.

Those donations will come in the form of financial relief to south county residents who suffered flood damage.

“It has been tremendous and has made our lift a little less. being able to involve the community is just a huge gift for all of us,” adds Nichols.

The 5Cities Homeless Coalition says that more than $5,000 has been raised so far.

Impacted residents who need assistance can email the 5Cities Homeless Coalition at or call their main number at (805)574-1368.