Weather

Flood advisories issued as SLO County hit with first big storm of 2019

A pair of movie goers head to a show at the Downtown Centre Cinema on Saturday as the first of three storms made landfall, drenching San Luis Obispo County.
A pair of movie goers head to a show at the Downtown Centre Cinema on Saturday as the first of three storms made landfall, drenching San Luis Obispo County. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

San Luis Obispo’s first storm of the year made landfall Saturday, drenching much of the county in an overnight transition from the bone dry and cold weather that has persisted since Christmas.

And residents should get used to wearing those rain coats — plenty more is on the way.

PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey said the low-pressure system produced 0.93 inches in Prefumo Canyon by 2 p.m. Saturday. San Luis Obispo County Airport received 0.43 inches, while Arroyo Grande at South Halcyon Road received 0.86 inches.

Rocky Butte northeast of Cambria saw the most rainfall in the county with 1.10 inches.

The rain led to a handful of minor accidents across the county, keeping emergency responders busy.

The National Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for SLO County until 5 p.m. A slight break in the storm is expected Sunday morning, Lindsey said, with partly cloudy skies, but more rain will arrive Sunday afternoon into Monday morning.

Nearly 2 inches of rain is expected in parts of the county by the end of the weekend, he said.

In Santa Barbara County, a flash flood watch was issued until midnight for the Hill and Woolsey fire burn areas, along with slide warnings for Highways 101 and 154.

The weekend’s storm could also bring heavy snow across the Sierra Nevada above 4,500 feet, with the possibility of more than a foot of accumulation at higher levels.

Another low-pressure system is expected Tuesday into Wednesday, with additional storms next Saturday, Sunday and into Monday.

“It appears we will have periods of moderate to heavy rain, and/or showers, every day of the week until Jan. 14, with a possible break on Thursday (Jan. 10),” Lindsey said.

Lindsey added that next weekend’s system appears to be the largest of the three expected during the week.

He recommends keeping a battery-powered flashlight and radio within reach, use of LED candles instead of wax and staying away from downed power lines and calling 911 if you see any.

Lindsey also noted water-filled plastic containers can serve as blocks of ice to preserve food from spoiling in your freezer in the case of a prolonged power outage.

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