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Rains flood Pismo hotel and roads throughout SLO County

Watch the raging waters of San Luis Creek in downtown SLO

Powerful waters from San Luis Creek on Friday brought stumps, bottles and other debris downstream. Spectators came out to see. Here's a look at the raging creek from various locations in downtown SLO on January 20, 2017.
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Powerful waters from San Luis Creek on Friday brought stumps, bottles and other debris downstream. Spectators came out to see. Here's a look at the raging creek from various locations in downtown SLO on January 20, 2017.

Flooded roads, hotels, creeks and even the Bob Jones Trail dominated emergency responders’ time Friday, as the latest onslaught of rain drenched the San Luis Obispo County.

It started early: Residents at the Seacrest Hotel in Pismo Beach got a wet wake-up call about 8 a.m., when the hotel flooded.

The flood was discovered when a group of first responders, already at the hotel because of a minor, unrelated call, were greeted with a rush of water as their elevator opened on the first floor.

“That was the first indication that probably something was wrong,” Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms said Friday morning.

The first floor was flooded, likely from standing water collecting on the road near the hotel, Elms said.

The department began evacuating guests in the hotel and assisted in clearing drainage around the building to help dissipate the buildup of water. All guests were evacuated and most of the water had been diverted out of the building by mid-morning.

“It’s just a muddy mess in there right now,” Elms said at 10 a.m.

The county’s roads were also hit especially hard by the storm, with traffic along Highway 101 in Pismo Beach coming to a near standstill early in the morning as crews attempted to remove mud and debris that had flowed over the highway and was blocking the southbound Price Street off-ramp.

Other roads were periodically shut down throughout the day as reports of flooding flooded in.

Later in the day, another hotel was hit by the onslaught of water — Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort on Avila Beach Drive had to be evacuated amid concerns over rising creek levels.

Water from nearby San Luis Obispo Creek rose dramatically at midday near the hotel, prompting the evacuation, Elms said.

“The way it is laid out, the buildings are up on stilts, and from what we’ve heard, the water has reached the bottom of those buildings,” he said. “This is a precautionary measure,” he said.

The roughly 60 guests were evacuated from the hotel and transported via bus to a different hotel in Pismo Beach.

The road in front of the resort area, Avila Beach Drive, was closed to traffic for most of Friday because of water flowing through from San Luis Obispo Creek.

Meanwhile, parts of the Bob Jones Trail in Avila Beach also were inundated partway through the day.

One video, posted mid-afternoon, showed the section of the Bob Jones Trail behind the Avila Bay Athletic Club almost completely flooded, with water at least waist-deep flowing across the trail.

Looking ahead to the weekend, light rains are expected again Saturday, with a heavier storm moving through sometime Sunday.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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