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Live updates: Hearst Castle, some state parks reopen

Flooding, storm damage in Morro Bay

The large storm on Friday, February 17, 2017, hit Morro Bay with heavy rains and high winds. Morro Bay State Park was closed early in the day, and many roads were flooded or blocked by trees. Here's a look at the storm damage.
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The large storm on Friday, February 17, 2017, hit Morro Bay with heavy rains and high winds. Morro Bay State Park was closed early in the day, and many roads were flooded or blocked by trees. Here's a look at the storm damage.

Update: Saturday, 12:00 p.m.

Some SLO County parks reopen

Hearst San Simeon State Park, Morro Strand State Beach and Montana de Oro State Park have reopened.

The parks are still subject to closure today if safety is an issue, according to a tweet from California State Parks.

State parks also opened Hearst Castle Saturday morning.

Pacific Surfliner service suspended, train returns to SLO

Update: 7:25 p.m.

Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner service has been suspended north of Los Angeles after a mudslide covered railroad tracks in Santa Barbara, according to reports on social media.

Train 790 returned to San Luis Obispo, according to the Surfliner’s Twitter account, which is posting updates.

18,500 customers without power across SLO, northern Santa Barbara counties

Update: 7:00 p.m.

About 18,500 customers in various areas across San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties were still without power, in about 290 separate outages, according to PG&E spokesman Mark Mesesan.

The largest outages included:

▪  Oceano, Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande — approximately 9,000 customers

▪  Atascadero, Paso Robles and Templeton areas — approximately 2,000 customers

▪  Morro Bay — approximately 1,000 customers

▪  Santa Margarita — approximately 1,500 customers

Crews continue to work to restore power to the impacted areas.

Strong wind gusts during rainstorms on Friday, February 17, 2017, near the Highway 46/41 interchange at Cholame in San Luis Obispo County caused at least three vehicles to overturn, including two semi-trailers, according to the California Highway

All state parks closed in San Luis Obispo County

Update: 12:30 p.m.

All state parks within the San Luis Obispo District are closed because of storm-related damage and public safety, according to a tweet by California State Parks on Friday afternoon.

The affected parks are Cambria State Marine Park, Cayucos State Beach, Estero Bluffs State Park, Harmony Headlands State Park, Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, Hearst San Simeon State Park, Los Osos Oak State Natural Reserve, Montana de Oro State Park, Morro Bay State Park, Morro Strand State Beach, Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and Pismo State Beach.

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Hearst Castle began holding tours as normal on Friday morning, but high winds and falling branches caused safety concerns and prompted staff to bring visitors back down the hill, said Jim Allen, a Castle spokesman.

Tours are canceled for the remainder of the day, and staff on Saturday morning will reassess the safety status and the weather to determine if tours will resume, Allen said. The Castle has not sustained any significant storm damage, and the visitors center remains open, he said.

Storms cause about 200 separate power outages throughout county

Update: 11:30 a.m.

Storms on Friday caused about 200 different power outages throughout San Luis Obispo County, leaving at least 19,000 customers throughout the region without electricity, according to a PG&E spokesman.

More than 10,000 South County residents in Pismo Beach, Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande have lost power, said Mark Mesesan, a PG&E spokesman. Outages stretch west along Highway 101 and east along Huasna Road, according to PG&E’s outage map.

The four following South County schools lost power, according to Mesesan: Paulding Middle School, Oceanview Elementary School, Arroyo Grande High School and Branch Elementary School, all in Arroyo Grande.

Multiple trees fell on Corbett Canyon Road on Friday, February 17, 2017, closing the roadway. Trees also downed power lines on Carpenter Canyon Road near Cold Canyon landfill, south of San Luis Obispo. Oceano Dunes closed for the weekend because o

Around 3,900 Morro Bay residents also lost power, with the affected area stretching from Los Osos north along Highway 41. Farther inland, 2,000 residents east of Paso Robles are without power, Mesesan said.

The four following North Coast schools don’t have power, according to Mesesan: Morro Bay High School in Morro Bay and Monarch Grove Elementary School, Los Osos Middle School and Baywood Elementary School, all in Los Osos.

“We are still investigating the cause of many of these (outages),” Mesesan said in a statement. “We are finding many downed trees and downed electrical wires ... due to the wind and saturated ground conditions from the rain.”

PG&E does not yet know when customers will have their power restored, he said.

“We’re just trying to get to all of them,” Mesesan said in a phone interview.

Trees on the Morro Bay High School campus knocked out some of the school’s solar panels and hit two cars. Ryan Pinkerton, assistant superintendent for San Luis Coastal Unified School District, talks about plans to slowly evacuate students Friday,

Huge outage in South County leaves more than 10,000 without power

Update: 10:30 a.m.

Thousands of residents throughout San Luis Obispo County were without power Friday morning, with outages hitting nearly the entire region, according to PG&E.

At least 5,000 customers were without power in Morro Bay as of 10:15 a.m., with the affected area stretching from Los Osos north along Highway 41. Farther inland, more than 1,600 residents west of Paso Robles also lost power.

A huge outage in the South County also left more than 10,000 residents in Pismo Beach, Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande without power, with the outage stretching east along Huasna Road.

PG&E has sent crews to assess the outages, but it’s unknown when power will be restored.

To see the status of power outages in your area, check out PG&E’s outage map.

SLO County expected to receive as much as 3.5 inches of rain today

Update: 10:14 a.m.

Storms brought gusty winds and rain to San Luis Obispo County on Friday, causing weather-related mishaps including downed trees, vehicle crashes, mudslides and power outages.

The county is expected to receive between 2.25 to 3.5 inches of rain through Saturday morning, according to a forecast by John Lindsey, a PG&E meteorologist. Wind gusts of 32 to 45 mph are also expected, and some could reach 60 mph, Lindsey said.

The wind and heavy rain toppled trees throughout the county, including one near The Tribune’s newsroom on South Higuera Street. The CHP reported traffic collisions and hazards throughout the county.

More than 1,600 customers west of Paso Robles in the North County are also without power, according to PG&E. It’s unknown what caused the outage or when power will be restored.

Check back for more on this continuing story.

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