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County road crews continue cleanup after storms

Road Closed.jpg
Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 16, 2023

Though the skies have cleared for now, the roads in San Luis Obispo County are another story.

At 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, public works officials received a call about a tree that fell in Templeton, ultimately closing El Pomar Dr. in both directions from Moss Lane to Vaquero. Crews on scene Thursday morning said it would likely take most of the day to clear the debris.

“Really, we weathered these last couple storms pretty well, a few downed trees, nothing too significant," said Jeff Briltz, Templeton Community Services District General Manager.

Briltz says the cleanup effort following this week's storm has wrapped up in Templeton.

“Actually, all road maintenance, even within the district, is within the county’s jurisdiction. It’s the county’s responsibility. We try to do what we can to help keep it safe for residents," Briltz said.

“We still have quite a few roads throughout the county that still have trees down or are washed out. Public Works is going around and trying to repair those roads,” said Rachel Dion, County of San Luis Obispo Emergency Services Coordinator.

Near Lake Nacimiento, part of Chimney Rock Road was washed away as a result of heavy rainfall.

“We have about 100 isolated residents up there in that area,” said Dion.

The San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services is working with those residents to communicate necessary needs they may have while the road is being rebuilt.

Resident Dean Ramseyer said the community near Chimney Rock Road is concerned about their elders who have had medical appointments and medication refills put on hold.

Ramseyer said his 89-year-old mother-in-law is recovering from a hip injury and using a walker. He says the proposed solution to get her to appointments is to transfer her across the lake to the marina via boat; however, Ramseyer says he is concerned because she already struggles to get into a car.

“We are trying to coordinate transportation for those who don’t have transportation to the marina so they are able to go and get necessary supplies,” said Dion.

The repairs don’t stop at Chimney Rock Road.

“Besides Chimney Rock, our major repair areas include Santa Rita Road and Old Creek Road, both above Cayucos,” said John Waddell, San Luis Obispo County Deputy Director of Public Works.

Waddell says the damage from the storms is countywide.

“Those areas have creeks that overtopped and washed out sections of road. We have mudslides on the road, we have slip-outs on the road, there’s a number of damaged areas on both of those roads,” said Waddell.

If you are isolated near Lake Nacimiento due to the Chimney Road washout, contact the San Luis Obispo County Office of Public Works by calling 805-781-5678.