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Flooding, mudslides wreak havoc on SLO County with more rain on the way

Truck stuck in flood waters as San Luis Creek rises

A pickup truck got stuck in the rising waters of the San Luis Creek on Venado Trail in San Luis Obispo. The creek waters also closed San Luis Bay Drive.
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A pickup truck got stuck in the rising waters of the San Luis Creek on Venado Trail in San Luis Obispo. The creek waters also closed San Luis Bay Drive.

The rain that started pounding the Central Coast on Sunday night continued into Monday, flooding roads and causing mudslides throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Rainfall totals from Sunday to Monday ranged from about three-tenths of an inch in Hog Canyon to more than 3 inches near Prefumo Canyon in San Luis Obispo, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey. Arroyo Grande received 1.75 inches of rain, Morro Bay received 0.74 inches, Atascadero reported 0.87 inches and the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport reported 2.1 inches.

More than 40 miles of Highway 1 were closed to traffic Monday — starting at Ragged Point near the Monterey County line — so Caltrans crews could assess and clean up various small slides at multiple locations. Portions of that landslide-prone stretch of highway have been closed since early January.

A black Toyota truck was stuck in the rising waters of San Luis Creek on Venado Trail in San Luis Obispo for much of Monday, and flooding closed Avila Beach Drive between Ontario Road and Sycamore Crest Trail from 8:45 a.m. to 3:50 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol. A fallen tree blocked both lanes of traffic Monday at Santa Rita and Marsh roads east of Cayucos.

Total rainfall from Monday night into Tuesday is expected to be between 1 and 2 inches, said Lindsey, who forecast strong to gale-force winds starting late Tuesday morning and dissipating in the early afternoon. The rain could cause mudslides in the higher terrains of the coastal mountains, Lindsey said.

He predicted that the added rain could be “problematic” for Highway 1.

The Central Coast will get a break from the storms starting Wednesday afternoon and ending Thursday afternoon, when another low-pressure air system develops off the Northern California coast. That system will cause another cold front to move into the area Thursday night into Friday, which will bring moderate to heavy rain and winds at speeds of 13 to 24 mph, Lindsey said. He forecast that rainfall amounts throughout the Central Coast on Friday will range from 1.5 to 2 inches.

Feb. 11 through Feb. 15 is expected to be dry, but more wet weather is forecast to start Feb. 16, Lindsey said.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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