Weather

Storm that ravaged Santa Barbara County only gave a good soaking to SLO County

An intense winter storm that killed at least 13 people Tuesday in Santa Barbara County soaked San Luis Obispo County overnight but otherwise caused little disruption.

Locally, the storm dropped more than 3 inches of rain in some places, though most areas recorded between 1 and 2 inches, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.

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Spots around San Luis Obispo recorded more than 2 inches of rain, including 3.23 inches at Prefumo Canyon and 2.52 inches at Camp San Luis Obispo. Los Osos reported 2.92 inches, while Arroyo Grande tallied 1.54 inches.

Over the Grade, Paso Robles received 1.51 inches, followed by Templeton at 1.50 and Atascadero at 1.42.

The downpour caused flooding and a closure of Highway 1 at 13th Street in Oceano, but the road was reopened shortly before noon, Caltrans reported. The city of San Luis Obispo closed all of its fields on Tuesday due to the rain and said they would reassess the situation on Wednesday.

San Luis Obispo County’s Public Health Department issued a warning to avoid contact with ocean water for at least three days following the storm’s conclusion.

“Rainstorm runoff is known to transport to the ocean high levels of disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa originating from the watershed and urban areas,” according to the county.

These organisms can cause skin, respiratory and intestinal problems, with the young, old and immune-compromised being particularly vulnerable.

The county sent at least 40 emergency responders to Santa Barbara County to help with flood and mudslide response on Tuesday. By early Tuesday afternoon, the SLO County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that most of the responders had already arrived on scene.

Due to a large amount of debris and mud on the roadway, Highway 101 is closed through the Montecito area. It’s expected to remain closed until at least Thursday night, according to Caltrans.

The forecast called for rain showers to taper off Tuesday night in San Luis Obispo County, giving way to misty conditions Wednesday morning and partly cloudy skies by the afternoon. Highs will be in the mid-60s.

The next chance for rain comes Jan. 16-17.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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