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Storm leaves hundreds of people stranded in Paso Robles

People are stranded because of the closure at Chimney Rock Road
Posted at 6:54 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 22:52:34-05

The storms this week left people stranded near Chimney Rock Road in Paso Robles.

Phil Humfrey lives in the Cal-Shasta Club and told KSBY, “We have no way in. We have no way out. We've been without power since Sunday."

PG&E says the outage began at about 2 am Monday morning. The county-maintained road heads out toward Running Deer Ranch in the area near Lake Nacimiento and the closure is at Fawn Lane and Chimney Rock Road.

Joshua Roberts is the Division Manager for the County of San Luis Obispo Public Works Department. He explained, “To do a full assessment of Chimney Rock Read means we need to figure out how to get to the other side.”

“We've got 400, 420 people or property owners behind the Running Deer Gate,” added Humfrey.

According to PG&E, there are 420 customers affected and the damage from the storm makes the road inaccessible even to their off-road vehicles because of mud and rockslides.

“Our focus is on obviously restoring access along Chimney Rock Road. There was a significant culvert washout in that area, and we had a crew on site yesterday doing an initial damage assessment. One of the concerns, obviously, is with the upcoming storms that some additional damage may occur,” said Roberts.

County Public Works explained that this is one of their highest priorities for restoring access - at least to provide access for PG&E. Adding that it could be a month before full vehicle access is restored.

“We have a generator to run the fridge and the freezer and that kind of stuff. But our propane tank is down to less than 20%. So that's only going to last a few more hours,” said Humfrey.

The Office of Emergency Services says it is working to get to those impacted and that they are calling residents in the area to identify their immediate and long-term needs. They estimate about 145 residences are affected so far.

PG&E is asking customers to call 2-1-1 for essential community services.