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