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City of San Luis Obispo declares local emergency due to storm

Updated storm totals for Friday night storm
Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 09, 2023

The City of San Luis Obispo has declared a local emergency as a result of the latest storm.

A National Weather Service Flood Watch and Wind Advisory are in effect for San Luis Obispo County, and with a large amount of rain expected, city officials say street flooding is likely. They warn that creeks, including San Luis Obispo Creek and Prefumo Creek, could also overflow.

“The City team is working diligently to monitor the situation and take necessary steps to protect lives and reduce the risk of storm damage,” said City Manager and Emergency Services Director Derek Johnson. “However, we urge residents and business owners to be prepared for the possibility of flooding and take necessary precautions to protect their property and ensure their safety. Businesses in flood-prone areas should consider installing flood gates in advance of possible flooding.”

The declaration went into effect at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, and will remain in effect for 60 days unless extended or terminated by the City Council.

San Luis Obispo city officials recommend that residents take the following precautions during the storm:

  • Avoid non-essential travel during the peak of the storm.
  • If you must drive during the storm, use extra caution, leave early, slow down and use your headlights.
  • DO NOT cross flooded roadways: Turn around, don’t drown.
  • Anyone in flood-prone areas should be prepared to take action should flooding develop (downtown businesses should consider installing flood gates in advance).
  • Have flashlights and batteries handy and avoid using candles if the power goes out.
  • Stock an emergency supply kit for your home and your vehicle.
  • Store important documents and valuables in waterproof containers and move them to higher levels of your home.
  • Monitor forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings.

For current storm information and preparedness tips from the City of San Luis Obispo, visit