Ahead of an expected 2 inches of rain next week, private cleanup crews waded through San Luis Obispo Creek on Wednesday collecting debris — mostly soggy and badly damaged comic books and cassette tapes — the result of Saturday’s large fire that destroyed The Sub novelty shop.
Santa Maria-based Pacific Petroleum workers in protective gear collected an estimated 10 cubic yards of material that washed into the creek through a 48-inch storm drain outlet beneath the Bianchi Lane bridge.
Assistant City Manager Derek Johnson said approximately 3 million gallons of water was used in fighting the fire on the 200 block of Higuera Street on Saturday.
He said city staff and officials from the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board were testing the creek water for traces of asbestos or other hazardous materials.
The collected material will be stored in large hazardous materials containers set up on nearby city open space for property owner Richard Ferris to sift through to see whether any merchandise can be salvaged, Johnson said.
Once the debris is cleared, a vacuum truck will collect standing water from the area.
On Wednesday afternoon, San Luis Obispo fire Chief Garret Olson said the city continues to investigate the fire but that a cause may not be confirmed for about two weeks.