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Evacuation warning expanded in Oceano ahead of next storm

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Posted at 9:07 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 02:43:32-05

People are being asked to prepare for the next round of wet weather.

An evacuation warning has been issued for nearly all of Oceano west of Highway 1 amid ongoing flood concerns.

Since Monday’s storm, water levels have dropped along the Arroyo Grande Creek, but emergency officials are preparing for the possibility of more flooding in the coming days.

“We extended the evacuation warning area near the Oceano lagoon really out of an abundance of caution,” said Rachel Dion, emergency services coordinator for the San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services.

Authorities expanded an evacuation warning for parts of Oceano on Wednesday. It now includes areas from the beach east to the railroad tracks and neighborhoods south of Pier Avenue.

“We found out via text message on my iPhone. We were a little concerned because we live on the beach,” said Oceano Resident Kojo Williams.

Emergency officials are concerned that stormwater could fill the Oceano Lagoon and flood surrounding neighborhoods.

“The lagoon especially is really prone to filling up when we see a lot of rain and during the series of storms we saw earlier this week, we did see some degradation in the levee, “added Dion.

Another area of concern is the Arroyo Grande Creek Levee which overflowed with water, forcing evacuations earlier this week.

Crews were out filling sandbags to reinforce the levee late Wednesday afternoon.

“It was just an eye-opener that it could happen, so we’re definitely prepared now,” said Williams.

People who live in flood-prone areas of Oceano are preparing go-bags and evacuation plans ahead of the next round of rain.

“I just talked to my neighbor and they kind of went through the same thing. We’re preparing now going forward to have an evacuation bag, to have the first aid kit and some clothes and food that we can kind of just run with,” explained Williams.

An evacuation order is still in place for areas south of the Arroyo Grande Creek Levee.