The Cambrian

Sand for sandbags in Cambria not all free for the taking

With the threat of heavy El Niño-triggered storms this winter, many people are preparing their first line of defense against flooding: sandbags.

San Luis Obispo County Public Works has placed piles of sand in several spots on the North Coast, and many have made the assumption that those are for members of the public to use in preparing sandbags.

Yes and no, according to Cambria Fire Capt. Emily Torlano. She wrote in a Nov. 9 email to fellow employees of the Cambria Community Services District that sand for community use is at:

▪ Shamel Park at the Windsor Boulevard curve on Park Hill.

▪ Lampton Park, at Lampton Street and Windsor Boulevard on Lodge Hill.

▪ The dog park on Main Street near Santa Rosa Creek Road.

However, a pile of sand and sandbags at the department’s fire station on Burton Drive is not available to the public, she said.

“This sand is for emergency responders only. We need to have our own stash of sand available to us for emergency use.”

Also, people who want sandbags filled with sand from those public piles must provide their own bags, which are available at Cambria Hardware on Village Lane. The store also sells filled sandbags.

The county also offloaded some sand near the San Simeon Community Services District office, 111 Pico Ave., sand that is available to residents of that town.

For safety recommendations about filling, moving and placing sandbags, go to