Weather

Rain brings outages, car crashes to SLO County

Crews with College Towing work to remove a BMW, a Ford pickup and a Honda that were involved in a collision Thursday morning on southbound Highway 101 at Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande.
Crews with College Towing work to remove a BMW, a Ford pickup and a Honda that were involved in a collision Thursday morning on southbound Highway 101 at Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

A new series of storms that promises to bring downpours to San Luis Obispo County on Friday began Thursday with periodic light rain that caused a minor power outage, some car crashes and a warning for a possible evacuation at a Cal Poly dorm.

Andres Castellanos, a student who lives in Cal Poly’s Fremont Hall, said the dorm’s 275 residents were told Wednesday to pack “go bags” in case the upcoming storms trigger a massive mudslide from a hill behind the building. If the hill does give way, the students would be evacuated and relocated elsewhere on campus.

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Matt Lazier, a Cal Poly spokesman, said the university has “sufficient space within its other residential facilities to accommodate these students temporarily.” Cal Poly’s University Housing has plans in place to evacuate the students if the building becomes unsafe to occupy, and students have been given a designated meeting point in the event of an evacuation, Lazier said. The housing office also is providing the students with updates on the dorm.

Crews from Cal Poly’s Facilities Operations are monitoring the hillside’s instability and have installed a temporary barrier to fortify the area, Lazier said. Crews also have removed several trees that posed a risk of falling, he said.

Cuesta College experienced two power outages Thursday morning.

The first one, at 8:30 a.m., was brief and the cause was unknown, college police Chief Bryan Millard said. The second outage was planned and happened at 10:50 a.m. Millard said facilities department workers caused the second outage so they could try to repair some of the electrical systems involved in the first outage.

Small car crashes were reported throughout the county Thursday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol, but none caused serious injuries.

SLO County was expected to get between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch of rain by the end of Thursday night, PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey said.

Then, a storm developing west of San Francisco will move south toward the Central Coast on Friday morning. That storm will tap into an “atmospheric river” that will bring 32- to 46-mph winds and heavy rain, Lindsey said.

Total rain amounts for Friday through Saturday morning will range between 2 and 3.5 inches, Lindsey predicted.

After a glut of storms in San Luis Obispo County, a swelling Atascadero Creek is eating away at the earth underneath this home.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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