Rachel Dion, emergency services coordinator for San Luis Obispo County says the intense rainfall that struck the area last week left a slurry of damages from Cambria down to Oceano.
With the next storm cycle that is on the way, she says agencies across the region are once again gearing up to prepare for its impacts.
“We saw widespread damage especially in Cambria, that is one of the areas we were expecting, and we saw a lot of flooding in their east village downtown area,” Dion said. “We saw our creeks rise, we saw issues with our levee, we did evacuation warnings and orders for that area.”
She says crews have been working to quickly repair the impacted areas but adds that they anticipate more damages may come about from the next round of rainfall.
“We have 24/7 patrols down at the levee in Oceano, we have patrols at our creeks that we are expecting to possibly have flooding. A lot of the cities as well are sending out in-person patrols as well, talking to residents in the areas that were affected last week,” Dion added.
Officials with the City of San Luis Obispo say last week’s storm resulted in temporary closures of the Marsh Street onramp, adding that k-rails were also positioned in the area to redirect floodwaters back into the San Luis Obispo Creek.
City emergency manager, James Blattler says staffing was bumped up for their response on that storm, and that they will be doing the same for the coming one.
“Tomorrow on Tuesday it looks like we are in for another impactful storm. So, we will be taking the same approach, ready to serve and protect the community,” Blattler said.
He says he is encouraging residents in the city of San Luis Obispo and throughout the County to also do their part in preparing for this next storm by reinforcing their home with sandbags, clearing gutters, and being mindful of potential road closures.
“I think for everyone it is a huge wakeup call,” admitted Rachel Dion. “Now, we are out of a drought, we have got rain and water to deal with and we want to be prepared for that.”
“You know, we have been praying for rain for so long, but it is time. It is time for it to come to an end at least until the end of March,” said San Luis Obispo resident, Kathey Heaney.
Dion adds that Santa Rita Road near Cayucos also suffered washouts and landslides that crews are working to repair in time for the next rain.
You can stay up to date on city and county storm preparedness resources at slocity.org/prepare and readyslo.org