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Morro Bay recovering from latest storm, preparing for next system

Morro Bay cleanup
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 22:23:41-05

While the sun was still shining Thursday, maintenance crews in Morro Bay worked to reopen once flooded roads, while business owners continued cleaning up the aftermath that followed Monday’s rainfall.

Huy Ngo of Morro Bay says his burger stop, Wee Shack, has been serving up food to the community for more than a decade, but that all came to a halt earlier this week when Monday’s storm left the outside of his restaurant sunken in mud and the inside riddled with water damage.

“This is Morro Bay! I’ve lived here almost 50 years and I believe we have never had anything this bad,” Ngo said.

Just outside of his restaurant, maintenance crews with the City of Morro Bay rolled through with tractors to clear the street and sidewalks of debris, as well as the blanket of mud covering the Wee Shack parking lot.

“Removing the trees, removing all the debris, scraping all the mud off the road so we can reopen Main Street, which has been closed since Monday," said Morro Bay City Manager Scott Collins.

But as the coming days will likely bring more rain to Morro Bay, Caltrans officials say maintenance crews of their own have been constantly assessing drainage and clearing culverts along Highway 1 to try and prevent future closures.

Ngo, meanwhile, describing what he encountered the next day when he returned to his restaurant.

“There was a lot of mud and debris. We went to the back of the restaurant where there was two inches of water,” he said.

Collins says as many as 20 homes and 10 businesses suffered significant damage.

“We opened up in 2011, it has been great. Business has been great. In 2017, we were ranked number 36 in America. COVID hit, and now this,” Ngo told KSBY. “I mean, this is my livelihood, our family business," but he says he is still holding onto hope for the future of his restaurant.

“We are hoping that we will reopen as soon as we can and start serving fresh hamburgers again to the community,” Ngo added.

He says ahead of this weekend’s expected rainfall, he will be reinforcing his restaurant with sandbags to prevent further damage.

Anyone in need of sandbags in Morro Bay can stop by the Morro Bay Library.

If your private property was one of the many that suffered damage from the storm, the City of Morro Bay suggests you visit and report your incident for potential FEMA support.