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It will cost millions of dollars to fix areas damaged by bluff failures in Pismo Beach

Several spots along the bluffs in Pismo Beach are closed off to the public because of erosion and rain.
Posted at 6:24 PM, Mar 22, 2023

Several spots along the bluffs in Pismo Beach are closed off to the public because of erosion and rain.

“If you look around, like there's a couple of things over here that were pretty like settled, like there's sand and now, it's completely gone and looks like there's a little cave underneath there,” said Derek Richardson who lives in Nipomo but works in Pismo Beach. “Looking at the cliffside, it came out pretty far and now, it's almost to the road. ”

It is damage that Michael Allen has documented since the storm on January 9, 2023.

“I took some pictures with my camera phone a few weeks ago right after the big rain, and I just wanted to come over today just to check it out and see how it's changed, so I can take some more pictures and see how it is,” said Allen, who lives in San Luis Obispo.

Over near Margo Dodd Park, there are still signs that read “sidewalk closed” and “dangerous bluff, please stay back.”

“We saw some additional damage in the Spyglass area adjacent to Spyglass Park,” explained Jorge Garcia, Assistant City Manager for Pismo Beach. “We had a significant tree go down as well as some additional bluff erosion, so over the last month and a half, we have continued to monitor and see different areas. ”

Garcia said it will cost millions to repair the areas damaged since January’s storm.

“Our current estimates are about $17 million, but those numbers continue to fluctuate as additional damage occurs,” Garcia said.

High surf and rain don’t help with repairs.

“All depends on how the bluffs failed and what the soil conditions are in those various areas, so some areas may be able to be reopened within several months; other areas may be several years before they reopen,” Garcia said. “We have filed insurance claims, we have filed claims with FEMA, and we'll be working with the California Office of Emergency Services, as well as FEMA, in order to get the funding necessary to make the repairs. ”

The City of Pismo Beach is asking visitors and residents to not go beyond the signage barricading areas impacted by recent storms.