Pile by pile and bag by bag, Cal Fire along with some inmates from the Cuesta Correctional Facility and members of the Oceano community finished making close to six thousand sandbags for the Arroyo Grande Levee, about half of the nearly 13 thousand sandbags they say it’s going to take to protect the Oceano community from torrential floods.
Gary DeSutter lives in Oceano. He says he’s surprised to see these efforts happening in January, telling us: “Last year in November the flood control did a lot of planning because of the floods we were supposed to get and all the great rains and they all tarped and used sandbags to no avail and we didn’t have to worry about it but I walked up here last week and I thought – boy they’re not paying attention to all the predictions of rain.”
The county says however, the weather patterns are different this year and that’s why they decided to start working on it this week.
“We have been monitoring the creek for the past week since there’s been some rain whereas last year, there was an El Nino so it was something that we were geared up for early on in anticipation of a lot of rain,” explains Andrea Montes, Program Manager of SLO County Public Works.
While it’s uncertain how much more rain this area can expect, the county hopes people take it upon themselves to be alert of upcoming weather patterns.
“The public is encouraged to be aware and take it upon themselves to watch local news stations and local news radio for updates on any potential levee failures,” says Montes.
Cal Fire says they expect to be out at the levee again Friday at 9 am in order to finish this project.