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Oceano Dunes to close over Presidents Day weekend because of storms

SUV gets stuck, water rises to its roof in rushing creek at Oceano Dunes

An SUV got stuck and water rose nearly to its roof in Arroyo Grande Creek at the Oceano Dunes on Monday, January 9, 2017. Both occupants ended up getting arrested once they made it to safety.
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An SUV got stuck and water rose nearly to its roof in Arroyo Grande Creek at the Oceano Dunes on Monday, January 9, 2017. Both occupants ended up getting arrested once they made it to safety.

About 4,500 Oceano Dunes campers will have to make other plans this Presidents Day weekend.

The Oceano Dunes District will temporarily halt camping and day-use access to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area starting Friday because of the storms expected to hit San Luis Obispo County this weekend.

Heavy rain can flood Arroyo Grande Creek where the stream runs into the ocean, which can prevent emergency and ranger access to the lower half of the park, district Superintendent Kevin Pearce said Wednesday. Vehicles also often become stuck in the creek when attempting to cross the flooded waterway — another safety hazard.

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Because of those safety concerns, the district decided it would refund camping reservations for the 4,500 campers expected to flock to the dunes for the holiday weekend. The district expects to lose about $35,000 in revenue because of the closure on what was expected to be a sold-out weekend.

Day-use passes for access to the park will not be available Friday and Saturday, but depending on the weather conditions, could be available Sunday and Monday, Pearce said.

The Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area at the SVRA is also closed until further notice, because of significant storm damage to the access point for the area’s bridge and trails.

The North Beach Campground at Pismo State Beach continues to be closed as a result of flooding from previous storms.

For additional and updated information, call the district at 805-473-7220 Monday through Friday; or email the district at ohvinfo.ohv@parks.ca.gov.

An SUV was found in the flooded Arroyo Grande Creek Wednesday, February 8, 2017. California State Parks contacted the owner who said the vehicle had been stolen in Santa Maria.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed an incorrect total for the amount of revenue expected to be lost because of the closure.

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