Weekend offers respite from run of wet weather

San Luis Obispo County residents can expect a break this weekend from the series of storms that pummeled much of California this week.

Some relief from the wet weather meant tourists could once again visit Hearst Castle, which reopened Friday after being closed three days this week when heavy rain caused power outages and flooding.

Drier conditions overall ended nearly a week of rain and gusty winds that prompted farmers and vineyard owners to breathe a sigh of relief as underground aquifers were recharged and county reservoir water levels began to rise.

A few snow flurries and scattered hail were reported near the top of the Cuesta Grade on Friday, local forecaster John Lindsey said.

“We’re kind of in a lull here with a little sunshine over the area,” local forecaster Lindsey said. “… This has been a pretty remarkable week of weather.”

Clearer skies and abundant sunshine are expected today and Sunday, with highs in the mid-50s and lows in the 30s and 40s.

A new storm is expected to bring an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain in most of the county starting Monday afternoon and lingering into Tuesday. This week’s storms felled trees and created treacherous driving conditions throughout the Central Coast.

In Monterey County, Highway 1 north of Ragged Point will be closed for two to three weeks starting Sunday as Caltrans crews repair a section of roadway that had eroded near Gorda.

The Oceano State Vehicular Recreation Area remained closed Friday because of storm-related problems, park Superintendent Andy Zilke said.

Raging waters at Arroyo Grande Creek prevented access to the area of the Dunes where motorists ride, Zilke said. Access ramps at Pier and Grand avenues were also damaged and are in need of repair.

If the rain lets up, and park officials can make some repairs to the access areas, Zilke said, the park likely will reopen next week. Zilke noted extremely high surf at the park.

Staff writers Kathe Tanner and Nick Wilson and Assistant City Editor Stephen Curran contributed to this report.