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Rain that soaked Central Coast clears up — but a lot more is on the way

14,000 sandbags: A race to protect Arroyo Grande Creek levee before heavy rains

A California Conservation Corps crew from the Los Padres (SLO) Center works to fill 14,000 sandbags to help protect a levee along the bank of the Arroyo Grande Creek in Oceano on Thursday, January 5, 2017.
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A California Conservation Corps crew from the Los Padres (SLO) Center works to fill 14,000 sandbags to help protect a levee along the bank of the Arroyo Grande Creek in Oceano on Thursday, January 5, 2017.

The rain that soaked the Central Coast on Wednesday dissipated Thursday morning, with a break in the wet weather forecast to last through Friday.

Measurements taken at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant showed that the area received the most rain it’s seen in a 24-hour period in about seven years, said PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey. Diablo Canyon recorded 3.25 inches of rain Wednesday, just shy of the 3.32 inches it received Dec. 18, 2010.

On Thursday, Rocky Butte received 0.12 inches of rain, San Luis Obispo reported 0.24 inches, and Arroyo Grande received 0.37 inches, according to the county Department of Public Works’ website.

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The Central Coast may see some fog Thursday night, but it will clear up once the Santa Lucia winds start blowing, Lindsey said. The reprieve will last until Saturday, when gale-force winds and rain are forecast to return. Saturday through Monday is expected to be stormy, with total rainfall over the weekend coming in between 2.5 inches and 4.5 inches, Lindsey said.

That pattern — a few days of rain followed by a day of clear skies — will likely continue through the end of the month.

Lindsey cautioned that wet soil, combined with wind, could cause trees to topple over and take out power lines. He urged people to prepare for outages.

The rainstorms caused rock slides on Highway 1 north of Ragged Point on Tuesday night, closing the road through Thursday morning. By 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Caltrans announced the road had reopened.

In Oceano, three cars collided early Thursday morning, with two people taken to the hospital. A sinkhole was reported at Oakglen and Pioneer avenues in Nipomo on Thursday morning, but it was fixed by early afternoon.

Also in Oceano, crews from the California Conservation Corps, Cal Fire and Cuesta Conservation Camp No. 24 filled sandbags and stacked them on the Arroyo Grande Creek levee to fortify it during flooding. Aaron McBride, a California Conservation Corps crew supervisor, said they hoped to fill 14,000 sandbags.

The steady rain this week has been a boon for area reservoirs.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, Lake Nacimiento gained more than 1.5 billion gallons of water, going from 28 percent of capacity to 30 percent. Lopez Lake gained more than 93 million gallons, going from 22.6 percent of capacity to 22.9 percent.

Scenes from Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach and Oceano as rains brought minor flooding to several areas of San Luis Obispo County on January 4, 2017.

Tribune photographer Joe Johnston contributed to this story.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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