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Paso officials evacuate people living in riverbed ahead of storm

paso riverbed.PNG
Posted at 1:19 PM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-09 22:33:18-05

Paso Robles officials are continuing to notify those living in the riverbed that the riverbed corridor is an Evacuation Warning area.

City officials say they have fire and police personnel contacting the unhoused population and posting evacuation warning signs throughout entrances to the riverbed. The city also had the CHP Helicopter fly over the riverbed area on Wednesday to broadcast the need to vacate the riverbed.

Warming centers for the unhoused will be open within Paso over the next several days as follows:

  • March 9, Plymouth Congregation Church at 1301 Oak St., doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served.
  • March 10 and 11, First United Methodist Church at 915 Creston Rd., doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served.
  • March 13 and 14, Paso Nazarene Church at 530 12th St., doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served.

City officials and staff says they are preparing for a series of storms between Thursday, March 9 and Friday, March 17.

Due to anticipated hill slides, rising river levels, and localized flooding, River Road will be preemptively closed to through traffic from Navajo to Creston and Union to River Oaks beginning 7 p.m. on Thursday. Officials say access to businesses along N. River Road just north of Union Road will be maintained, conditions allowing.

City police and fire personnel say they are allocating significant resources to advise individuals within the Salinas riverbed to relocate to higher grounds immediately. Staff and equipment are in place for both storms and prepared to mobilize as conditions dictate. 

The city has sand available for anyone wishing to make sandbags to protect private property. Sand can be found at the City Streets Yard located at 1220 Paso Robles St. A shovel is onsite, but people need to bring their own sandbags as they are not available on site. If anyone needs sandbags, they are available at Home Depot, Kritz Excavation, Lowes, Miner’s Ace Hardware, and Steve Schmidt Topsoil.

Residents needing to report non-emergency storm issues, such as a blocked storm drain or debris blocking safe travel on a city street, should call the non-emergency dispatch line at (805) 237-6464. If it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Storm updates will be provided as necessary on and official social media feeds.