FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dan McCrain, Fire Chief/PIO
March 13, 2023
IMPENDING STORM PREPARATIONS
Morro Bay, California – The City of Morro Bay is urging all citizens to prepare for another atmospheric river storm that is projected to bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to the area starting tonight.
Weather and Flooding: Heaviest rainfall is anticipated between 8:00am and 8:00pm on Tuesday in our area. The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch in effect from March 14th from 4:00am until March 14 at 10:00pm. While this storm is projected to be of shorter duration, rain is expected to be heavier with rainfall rates of .5” to 1” per hour possible during the peak of the storm.
Unlike Friday’s storm, this storm will also have the potential of high winds with winds from 25 to 35 mph and gusts as high as 40 mph projected. These winds could cause the loss of power and downed trees.
Based on the expected level of rainfall and the capacity of the upstream creek bed, flooding is expected again. Crews will be monitoring flooding and removing any loose debris from Morro Creed as conditions permit, but data from prior storms indicates that flooding may occur even with loose debris removal.
Road Closures: Road closures are likely. As soils are currently saturated, there is potential again for roadway flooding. Please avoid unnecessary travel during the storm. The following road closures occurred during prior storm events and may occur on Tuesday as well:
- Hwy 1 from Morro Bay Boulevard to San Jacinto Street.
- South Bay Boulevard from Quintana Road to Santa Ysabel Avenue.
- Quintana Road from South Bay Boulevard to San Bernardo Creek Road/Hwy 1.
- Main Street from southbound Highway 1 on- and off-ramps north to Errol Street (including Radcliffe Avenue).
- State Park Road throughout Morro Bay State Park.
Alternative Routes: If Highway 1 closes during the storm (CalTrans makes decisions regarding Highway 1 closure), drivers going northbound may take Highway 1 up the Cuesta Grade or Highway 41 east if access is available. Drivers going southbound may take Highway 46 east to Highway 101 south.
Evacuations: Silver City Mobile Home Park and Silver City West Mobile Home Park, and Main Street between Errol and Radcliff, including Preston Lane and Little Morro Creek Road will be under an evacuation warning starting at midnight tonight. City officials are urging all residents in these areas to heed evacuation orders and warnings and move to higher ground. Residents needing shelter should contact the 24/7 Non-Emergency Dispatch Line at (805)-781-7312.
Main Street, Errol Street, and Preston Lane Cleanup: Crews will be again working on cleanup starting Wednesday, March 15, 2023, and is expected to take up to three days. Due to the frequency of heavy equipment entering and exiting the roadway, Main Street is expected to be closed on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Debris bins on Preston Lane are currently available to local residents to dispose of flood-damaged items only. City staff will monitor these bins each day at 12:00 p.m. and will remove any non-flood damaged items per federal regulations. More bins have been ordered for placement on Errol Street.
Household hazardous waste and e-waste will not be accepted at these waste bins. The Integrated Waste Management Authority accepts these items at their Morro Bay Household Hazardous Waste Facility located at 160 Atascadero Road on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For questions, contact Public Works Director, Greg Kwolek at email@example.com. Please note City Council Meetings scheduled for Tuesday, March 14th, have been canceled.
Updates: Stay updated by following the City of Morro Bay on Facebook, visiting www.ReadySLO.org for County information, visiting the National Weather Service website, and signing up for City News on the Notify Me portion of the web site at .
How You Can Prepare:
- Prepare an emergency kit: Assemble an emergency kit with essential items such as non-perishable food, water, medications, a flashlight, batteries, radio, first-aid kit, and a backup phone charger.
- Secure your property: Secure outdoor objects such as patio umbrellas, furniture, toys, and tools to prevent them from being carried away by the wind. Seal windows and doors to prevent water from entering your home.
- Protect valuables: Move valuables, important documents, and electronics to higher ground or a safe, dry place.
- Backup power: Consider investing in a backup power source, such as a generator or portable power bank, to ensure you have access to electricity during a power outage.
- Stay indoors: Avoid going outside during the storm, especially during heavy rain or flooding if you are not under an evacuation order or warning.
- Remember, it is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared in the event of a storm with rain, flooding, and power outage.
- Protect your property: Utilize sandbags to divert water away from your property. Sand is available for free at the Morro Bay Library parking lot and the Cloisters Park parking lot. You must bring your own sandbags. Sandbags can be purchased at local hardware stores.
Disaster Assistance: Applications for FEMA assistance can be found at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Information is also available at www.RecoverSLO.org. Residents needing non-emergency assistance during the storm should contact the 24/7 Non-Emergency Dispatch Line at (805)-781-7312.