The store reopened to the public on Sunday, Jan. 15
ATASCADERO — The local community came together during the storm on Monday, Jan. 9, due to flooding on Traffic Way. What started out as a typical stormy day, where many shop owners stayed home, turned into something else entirely when the businesses on the 5000 block of Traffic Way were notified of possible flooding.
Specs by Kyla owner Kyla Skinner alerted the business owners on her block that the back parking lot was flooding and the water was flush with their doors via a group Instagram message.
“It never even occurred to me that anything could be wrong, although it [the rain] was coming down pretty good,” stated Traffic Records owner Manuel Barba.
Barba said that he ran down to his record shop to check on the possible flooding and was completely unprepared for what he found. He assumed he was stopping by to assess the potential for flooding.
“I figured I might have to move a couple of things. I figured there’d be water at the back door,” Barba added. “I came into my store, which was entirely flooded from the front door to the back door. It was two to three inches [of water]. It was pretty incredible, actually. I’ve never really seen anything like it. It was kind of and still feels very surreal.”
Traffic Records was not the only business to sustain heavy flooding. The business’ neighbors — Design de Cuisine 805, Raconteur Room, Totum, Gordon’s Good Games, and Andy’s Awesome Arcade — were also flooded to different levels of damage during the storm.
Due to past flooding in the parking lot behind the businesses, there were already two pumps at work trying to keep the water out, but the massive amount of water falling from the sky was too much for them to handle, turning the parking lot into a small lake. So the back doors of the stores are where the water naturally went. It was Skinner’s husband, Jeff, who finally secured a large trash pump in the afternoon and emptied the water out of the parking lot in around 30 minutes once one could be acquired.
“Everyone banded together,” Kyla Skinner added.
Strangers, fellow business owners in the area, and friends banded together to clean up the initial mess the storm had made. They brought brooms, mops, shop vacs, and anything else they could to clear out the water.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t lose our homes, and our families are OK,” Barba said. “I’m not even mad. The outpouring of support from the homies — I mean, they ran down here with mops and push brooms.”
Barba also said that the building’s landlord Dirk Dole has been wonderful throughout the whole experience and that he was out there helping all the businesses during the flood.
“We got hit pretty hard because we have a lot of cardboard and records and cardboard boxes and wooden bins and speakers on the floor,” Barba added. “But all of our good stuff is elevated. It’s just the nature of retail. I feel lucky.”
The bulk of the damage done to the record store happened in the back room, where they keep all of their back stock. Barba said that they lost some of the records on the bottom shelves and some in boxes. The store spent the days after the flood drying out some of those records and held a sidewalk sale on Wednesday, Jan. 11, of the records for donations.
While Traffic Records stayed closed until reopening on Sunday, Jan. 15, their Paso Robles store remained open for regular business hours.
None of the businesses on the block received any more water damage during the storms that took place from Friday, Jan. 13, through Monday, Jan. 16. As of Tuesday, Jan. 17, all businesses affected by the flooding are open for regular business hours.