When San Luis Obispo experienced heavy storms in the past, it was common for the community to suffer damaging floods in several neighborhoods and business districts. This didn’t happen in the winter of 2016-17. More than good luck was involved.
First, the city has adopted contemporary flood protection plans and strategies.
Second, our dedicated and highly trained city crews skillfully execute these plans. They make sure that our creeks are ready to handle stormwater before each winter. And during heavy, often dangerous storms, they monitor hot spots and quickly manage fallen trees and creek blockages.
Third, city leadership and the community have made flood protection a funding priority. Using money raised from the half-cent sales tax measures (Y and G), millions of added dollars have been invested in replacing old storm drains, removing silt and cleaning drain inlets. In fact, flood protection represents the second highest annual expenditure from this source.
No one should ever get overconfident about successfully handling heavy storms, but our community’s greatly improved effort has made a big impact in protecting residents and businesses from floods.
I wish to thank city staff, city council members and the community for supporting a much-improved storm protection program.
Ken Hampian, San Luis Obispo