Pismo Beach declares local emergency as more storms approach

With more rains on the horizon, Pismo Beach City Manager Jim Lewis declared a local emergency Thursday, making the city eligible for emergency funding from the state to respond to storm-related damage.

“The community is starting to show signs of stress,” Lewis said in a video published on the city’s social media pages. “And there has been flooding and we want to make sure you are safe as you travel through the community.”

Lewis cautioned that the emergency declaration wasn’t “anything to be alarmed about,” but was instead a “prudent measure to make sure resources are available from the state of California should things continue to deteriorate.”

According to a city staff report, “unusually heavy rains” this month have caused heavy runoff, flooding and bluff erosions in the city. Among those was slope failure on Oceano Boulevard and Price Canyon Road and flooding of city sports complexes at Ford and Rooker fields.

With more rains likely on the way, the report also warned of potential for “significant widespread additional flooding.”

The declaration gives Pismo Beach a chance for more financial support for expenses incurred during the emergency.

According to the staff report, the city has already had to pay public safety and public works staff overtime as they attempt to resolve numerous rain-related issues throughout Pismo.

“However, during storm events of this magnitude, staffing is stressed,” read the report. “The City has appropriate staffing to accomplish regular activities. Therefore, the City may have to rely upon the assistance of outside agencies to provide support and services should conditions continue to worsen as a result of the storms.”

The declaration has to be ratified by the Pismo Beach City Council and the state before the funding can be available.

The City Council is expected to approve the declaration at its meeting Tuesday.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie