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Whipping winds and rain cause damage in Oceano

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Posted at 5:20 PM, Feb 24, 2023

On Friday, the Central Coast experienced whipping winds, cold temperatures and more rain, leading to significant damage to some homes and businesses.

“I came to work and found the sign missing. Part of the sign was down,” said Marios Pouyioukkas, owner of the Rock & Roll Diner in Oceano.

Several trees and large branches around the diner were also knocked to the ground by the forceful wind, causing damage to the fence around the restaurant.

“To take off the sign, a steel sign, off the top of the train is major,” Pouyioukkas said.

Pouyioukkas says he’s never seen anything like this weather event in the 25 years he’s lived here and for him, the forceful winds caused more damage than the rain and subsequent flooding from the last set of storms in January.

“It’s not going to devastate us but it’s a major setback,” Pouyioukkas said.

He's unsure of the total cost of the damage but says he is communicating with his insurance company and estimates it could be anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 in damage.

Other nearby restaurants fared better.

“We had like a little tent out here that got a little damaged but no. Our power was out but we have a generator so we were able to run business as usual,” said Eva Verdin, Juan’s Cantina co-owner.

On Friday, San Luis Obispo County emergency officials issued an Evacuation Warning for Oceano residents in the area around the Arroyo Grande Creek Levee. It's the same area that was flooded when a levee broke in January.

The warning is for residents in low-lying areas south of Highway 1 along the Arroyo Grande Creek Levee and the Oceano Lagoon.

“It would be a major concern if it did break,” Pouyioukkas said, adding that he’s prepared for the possibility of another flood. “Sandbags. Lots of sandbags.”