ATASCADERO — The National Weather Service is forecasting that San Luis Obispo County is on track for a series of storm events on the Central Coast. The first storm is forecasted to arrive on Thursday and last through Saturday, with the heaviest rainfall expected on Friday.
The County of San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services has announced that the storm will bring the potential for localized flooding, winds, power outages and strong surf conditions. During the storm, residents and visitors should avoid rivers, streams and low-lying areas as a rapid rise in water levels may occur. Pay attention to weather forecasts, emergency alerts and instructions from local officials and avoid non-essential during the storm.
The City of Atascadero is advising residents to take extra care while driving, and to watch for flooded streets, as well as for possible downed limbs and trees. Creeks are already full, so the likelihood for flooding has increased since the last storm.
Flooding and downed limbs or trees in the streets may be reported by calling the City’s Public Works Department during regular weekday business hours at 805-470-3148; or Police Dispatch at 805-461-5051 outside regular business hours. Residents should always call 911 if the situation is an emergency, such as a blocked road or downed power line.
Be ready for possible storm related power outages by checking flashlight batteries and making sure to have plenty of non-perishable food and water on hand.
If a property owner has a culvert, drain pipe, drain inlet, etc. on their property, please clear and dispose any material (leaves, sand and other debris) that would impede the flow of storm water. This includes drainage facilities underneath private driveways. While removing the material, avoid blowing or moving the material into the street. This material can block the storm drain system and increases the risk of localized flooding. By removing the material prior to the rainstorm, property, owners help improve safety on our roadways.
To help alleviate possible residential flooding situations, empty sandbags may be purchased at local hardware stores such as Home Depot and Miner’s; sand to fill your own sandbags is available at both Fire Station #1, located on the corner of Lewis Avenue and Traffic Way, and the Public Works Yard located at 8005 Gabarda Road. Please be sure to bring a shovel.
If you must travel in the wet weather, the Atascadero Police Department advises extra caution. Remember that roadways may be extra slick with any rainfall and the physics of hydroplaning happens regardless how new your vehicle or tires may be.
If your vehicle feels light and starts to hydroplane, ease off the accelerator, slow down gradually and maintain steering control without making any sudden turning movements. Inevitably, your visibility and reaction times will be reduced because of water on the windscreen, reflections off the roadway, and low light conditions. Be sure to turn on your headlights, slow down, increase your stopping distance and leave twice as much space as normally required between you and the car ahead.
The rain may impact roads and road closures. To access that information, residents can check on their zone to find closures and other information at atascadero.org/fire or aware.zonehaven.com/search?z=12.000593676940694&latlon=35.496251152691556%2C-120.6637592808097. Also, check the City’s Facebook Pages: @AtascaderoCity, @AtascaderoPolice @AtascaderoFire for updated information. For more storm preparation information and locations to obtain sand and sandbags, visit ReadySLO.org.