Weather

SLO County residents asked to take caution as Sunday storm takes aim at Central Coast

High surf hits San Luis Obispo County beaches ahead of fierce storm

Check out the waves at Port San Luis, Avila Beach and Pismo Beach on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Some swells were as high as 20 feet. A storm Sunday is expected to bring high winds and 2 to 4 inches of rain.
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Check out the waves at Port San Luis, Avila Beach and Pismo Beach on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Some swells were as high as 20 feet. A storm Sunday is expected to bring high winds and 2 to 4 inches of rain.

San Luis Obispo County officials are urging residents to take caution as an intense storm packing more heavy rain and high winds takes aim at the Central Coast on Sunday.

The National Weather Service says it could be the strongest storm of the year, creating the potential for flooding, rock slides and downed trees.

Wind and coastal flooding advisories have been issued for San Luis Obispo County through Sunday, and a high surf warning is in effect until 6 a.m. Sunday.

Winds gusts of up to 50 mph are forecast along the Central Coast and SLO County interior, beginning late Saturday night until Sunday afternoon. Saturday’s surf of 20 to 30 feet will subside to 12 to 18 feet by Sunday but is expected to stay above advisory levels through Tuesday.

Heavy rain is forecast through Sunday, tapering in the evening. Rain showers and a chance of thunderstorms are forecast Monday. PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey is predicting between 2 and 4 inches of total rainfall associated with the storm, with higher amounts in the coastal mountains.

Heavy snow is expected in the Sierra Nevada mountains, with freezing levels dropping to 2,500 feet by late Sunday night.

On top of Friday’s storm that brought heavy rains and flooding around the county, officials are warning residents to take steps to protect themselves and property.

The San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works is asking residents to clear drain inlets, drainage ways and downspouts and remove trash, debris and downed trees and limbs from water flow areas. For residents in flood prone areas, the city is providing free sand for sandbags at four locations: the City Corp Yard at 25 Prado Road, Laguna Lake Golf Course on Los Osos Valley Road, Sinsheimer Park parking lot and Santa Rosa Park. Residents should bring their own bags and shovels.

“The best response to a storm event is a partnership between the city and the public,” San Luis Obispo public works director Daryl Grigsby said in a statement. “The city has trained and experienced staff capable of responding to emergency events — and will be deployed in advance of the winds and rain. The public also plays a key role in taking proactive steps and reporting incidents as they occur.”

SLO County issued warnings for residents near the San Simeon Creek watershed, Santa Rosa Creek in Cambria, Oceano Lagoon and Arroyo Grande Creek in Oceano to remain vigilant of flooding and stay tuned to local media outlets for regular updates.

Heavy rains on Thursday and Friday morning (January 19 and 20, 2017) pushed San Luis Obispo Creek over its banks and into roads, fields and even the playground along the Bob Jones Trail in Avila Beach.

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