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Shell Beach stairs closed due to storm damage

Posted at 3:51 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 22:44:09-04

The stairs leading to the beach on Pier Avenue in Shell Beach are closed until further notice.

A chunk of the bluff that supported the stairs is now missing and it's captured the attention of many people in the area.

"Monday we were walking the dogs down here and we noticed a bunch of people looking right over here," explained beachgoer Edwin Teixeira.

The pole connected to the stairs is hanging on with no support below.

"So out of an abundance of caution, to keep the public safe, city staff boarded up the entrance and we have declared the stairs unsafe at this time," said Pismo Beach Assistant City Manager Jorge Garcia.

The city believes the waves crashing along the bluffs played a role in the damage and beachgoers agree.

"The waves were really huge that day," Teixeira explained. "The water was splashing all the way up to that platform."

"Now what we're doing is we need to assess the damage, see how bad the damage is. We need the tides to come down just a little bit more so we can get the full extent as to what actually happened," Garcia said.

The city says over the coming weeks, they'll assess the damage and come up with a plan on how to fix it.

But the picturesque cliffside that's the subject of social media photos and even paintings is no stranger to being closed.

The city says that this particular set of stairs also failed in 2014, 2005, and 2003.

Just up the road, the stairs between Morro Avenue and Cuyama Avenue, posted with a sign reading "danger," were closed during a storm a few years back.

That storm was part of a state and national emergency declaration so the funds to fix it took longer to secure.

"So right now we are out to bid for that project to be completed and we're anticipating the construction will be starting at the beginning of next year," Garcia said.

Meanwhile, the city says it's assessing all of its coastline following the storm to see if Mother Nature played a role in damaging any other areas.