Where to get sand, sandbags in SLO County

Bracing for flooding from multiple storms this week, various agencies are providing free sand for San Luis Obispo County residents to put in their own sandbags.

According to the county Public Works Department, stockpiled sand is available on a self-serve basis at:

• Cambria, 2000 Rodeo Grounds Road, in front of the county’s equipment yard between the Burton Drive hill and the entrance to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve’s East Ranch;

• Cambria’s Shamel Park on Windsor Boulevard on Park Hill;

• Los Osos Water Yard at 8th and El Morro;

• Nipomo Community Services District on Dana Street;

• Santa Margarita, at Yerba Buena and Highway 58/El Camino Real (at the pump station);

• San Miguel, at the Cal Fire station on Main Street.

In the past in some cities, county Public Works and other departments also have provided free sand. Contact those departments to find out if sand is available and where.

For instance, on Paso Robles’ city Web site, at http://sn.im/PasoSandbags it indicates that sand and bags are free during the rainy season at the Streets Yard, 1220 Paso Robles St. on a self-serve basis.

The sand is on the 12th Street side, just east of Paso Robles Street, outside the gate toward the river.Most hardware stores also sell sandbags.

According to Cambria landscaper Mike Rice, people should only fill sandbags about half full.

“Make sure they’re light enough for you to lift easily dry, because they’re heavier wet and you may need to move them later,” he advised. “When there’s space left in the bag, the sand also drapes better than it would if the bag was stuffed full.”