Wet weekend in SLO County

Arroyo Grande Creek flooding has caused the evacuation of several homes in the area

aprado@thetribunenews.comDecember 19, 2010 

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Sunday’s persistent rain led to numerous road closures and the evacuation of a neighborhood as roads remained slick and floodwaters gathered in low-lying areas and creeks around San Luis Obispo County.

By the early evening, the CHP reported nearly two-dozen closures or incidents of major road flooding.

The CHP reported that it assisted in the evacuation of several homes near Oceano County Airport because of flooding in and around Arroyo Grande Creek.

The county Office of Emergency Services said it is monitoring the Arroyo Grande Creek Levee in case the creek keeps rising.

The rise in creek levels slowed significantly by Sunday afternoon, but with rain continuing through the week, people living in nearby low-lying areas should remain on standby.

Those areas include all areas west of South Halcyon Road and south of Ocean Street or the Union Pacific Railroad, within a half-mile of Arroyo Grande Creek in the Oceano area.

At the request of the Five Cities Fire Authority, volunteers with the American Red Cross set up a shelter at Arroyo Grande High School so anyone evacuated or otherwise displaced by the storm had somewhere to stay. As of 9 p.m., volunteers were providing food and shelter for 29 people, according to the Red Cross.

Meanwhile, county health officials are advising people to stay away from creeks and adjacent waters after two sewage spills.

The first was reported at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, in which 15,000 gallons of sewage was released into San Luis Obispo Creek because a pump line failed at the city sewer plant off Prado Road.

The second was the release of an unknown amount of sewage at noon Sunday into Arroyo Grande Creek, Meadow Creek and Oceano Lagoon, according to the county. That happened because some pumps failed at the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District treatment plant.

The storm brought 8.54 inches of rain to Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant by 5 p.m. Sunday — the most rain in a 48-hour period since March 1995, according to local forecaster John Lindsey.

Rain is expected to continue until it tapers off early Tuesday, but it is expected to return later that day and bring heavy downpours until they taper off late Wednesday morning, Lindsey said.

That storm is also expected to bring gale-force winds — 25 to 38 mph with gusts to 50 mph — said Lindsey, a communications specialist at PG&E. He said to look for clearing later in the week but that a Christmas storm is expected to bring heavy rain and gale winds.

SLO County rainfall totals in inches

Tally since storm began Friday, as of 5 p.m. Sunday. Compiled by local forecaster John Lindsey.

  • Arroyo Grande: 2.70
  • Atascadero: 5.75
  • Baywood Park: 3.51
  • Camp San Luis Obispo: 6.30
  • Cayucos: 6.15
  • Hi Mountain Condor Lookout, Los Padres National Forest (between Pozo and Lopez Lake): 7.74
  • Cottontail Creek near Cayucos: 8.30
  • Creston: 2.59
  • Davis Peak (between Montaña de Oro and Avila Beach): 7.16
  • Diablo Canyon: 8.54
  • Highway 41 West and Toro Creek: 7.10
  • Hog Canyon near Paso Robles: 2.83
  • Islay Hill, east of San Luis Obispo: 5.25
  • Los Osos: 3.75
  • Morro Bay: 4.25
  • Nipomo: 7.50
  • Oceano: 5.55
  • PG&E Energy Education Center: 9.51
  • Rocky Butte (between Nacimiento Lake and Cambria): 10.67
  • Santa Margarita Fire Department: 4.76
  • Shandon: 2.51
  • Templeton: 3.66

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