The Cambrian

Rain keeps falling, so does mud from Cambria, North Coast hills

Traffic controls limited Burton Drive to one-way alternating traffic near a rockslide close to Cambria Hardware early Tuesday afternoon.
Traffic controls limited Burton Drive to one-way alternating traffic near a rockslide close to Cambria Hardware early Tuesday afternoon. sprovost@thetribunenews.com

Some North Coast residents say they’re tired of rain and wind, fog and clouds, falling trees, overflowing gutters and sidewalks, and roads blocked by mudslides, rocks or floods.

After years of being thrilled by every tenth-inch of rainfall, some soaked locals are getting a bit blasé (and testy) about getting an inch of precipitation here and another inch there.

As former San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Shirley Bianchi said Tuesday, Feb. 7, “When you start measuring your rain in feet, it’s wet.”

She said that nearly 3.5 feet of rain has fallen so far this rain season on the Bianchis’ property about 4 miles east of Highway 1 on San Simeon Creek Road.

Highway 1 has been closed north of Ragged Point for weeks, as Caltrans workers struggle to clear landslides that prevent traffic from getting through on the scenic roadway. Because the situation changes daily (sometimes hourly) , for the latest details, go to http://bit.ly/2bzKxjY.

By 8 a.m. Wednesday, the bands of storms that began saturating the area six days earlier had dropped 5.62 inches of rain on the Red Mountain area near San Simeon, with 2.31 inches of that falling Tuesday.

For the current rain season that began Oct. 1 through about 5 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, Rocky Butte, northeast of San Simeon, had received nearly 62 inches of rainfall. (On Jan. 25, that total was about 50 inches.) Average is approximately 40 inches. All those statistics are from http://bit.ly/2k0mFzj.

The same site showed 24.97 inches of rainfall this season at a gauge at Santa Rosa Creek Road and Main Street; average rainfall there is 22 inches.

While heavy rains help dampen fire danger now, they could make it worse this summer and fall because of rapidly drying weeds and grass.

PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey’s Tuesday morning forecast included rain Thursday and Friday, drizzle Saturday, clearing and warmer Sunday through Wednesday (Feb. 12-15) and more rain possible starting Feb. 16.

As Bianchi added, “I’ve been mentioning to God that we really did need rain. Now I’m saying that she really doesn’t have to overdo it.”

  Comments