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Local hardware supply store sees demand for storm gear more than triple in recent months

Farm supply
Posted at 5:07 PM, Mar 20, 2023

Another winter storm is on its way to the Central Coast and people are once again taking measures to prepare for its impacts.

A little less than a week before the downpour on January 9th hit Santa Maria and the rest of the Central Coast, we heard from Greg Flores of local hardware store, Farm Supply, who said his team was just gearing up to sell its share of sandbags, straw waddles and other equipment to prevent water damage to properties.

As storms have persisted in the weeks since Flores says the store has seen a continuous flow of people coming by to stock up.

“More than doubled, more than tripled, I am going to say probably a 400-500% increase,” he told KSBY.

Flores adds that as supply chain issues have gradually dwindled down, they have been able to stay ahead of the demand for gear, for the most part.

“When we get hit, we get hit hard,” Flores added. “Sometimes we do run out of things like our sandbags. A couple of weeks back we didn’t have any at all and just had to wait for those orders to come in.”

He says in the past few years, the Farm Supply store saw very few sales of the same storm prep items that are now vanishing off shelves.

Other longtime homeowners on the Central Coast shared other ways they have been able to protect their properties.

“I have what’s called a French drain or trench drain. It goes from one side of the house to the other. It is basically these fittings that route the water from the tallest spot to the lowest spot,” said Ronald Stewart of Orcutt. “You just have to figure out how it goes, but it works really great I have had it there for many years.”

“We live up against a back hill, so we make sure we have got enough vegetation behind us, so it is able to absorb the water. It has been good, there has been no flooding at our home, and we are very, very lucky,” added John Stipicevich who lives in Los Osos.

Still, Flores of Farm Supply wants to make sure your home is ready for possible impacts of the rain.

“The rain has been good for us. It keeps on coming, we are prepared. So, in that fact we can also prepare the people for it,” he said.

A spokesperson with the San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services says they are monitoring areas in Oceano near the Arroyo Grande Creek, as releases from Lake Lopez may bring a big increase in water through its channels.

Meantime, officials with the Santa Barbara County office say as of now, they do not foresee protective measures like evacuation orders to take place with the coming rain.

Officials in both counties say they have been meeting with National Weather Service correspondents to get a better idea of the severity of the storm. They once again want to remind you to stay off the streets during heavy downpours and turn around if you come across blocked roadways.