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With heavy rains expected, Oceano neighborhood braces itself

With more rain headed to the Central Coast following this weeks downpour, one Oceano neighborhood is preparing for the worst.

“The Islands” is a neighborhood close to the dunes that lies low south of town, and is prone to flooding.

“It’s never gotten this bad this quick,” says Steve Ehens, who has lived within three miles of this neighborhood for 57 years. “We didn’t fair too well during the floods in 2010, and this area will be underwater unless something is done quick.”

Even 36 hours after the most recent rain, many areas of the neighborhood remain underwater.

“I’m building a sandbag wall, getting four pumps and a generator, and hopefully will be able to keep my house dry,” says Ehens.

Residents are also concerned with a nearby sanitation plant, less than 200 yards from the closest homes.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department opened a channel Friday afternoon for low lying areas behind the dunes so water can flow in to the ocean.

But Ehens says that channel, which is half a mile from his home, will not do his neighborhood any good. He believes even more channels need to be opened for water to move more freely down to the Pacific.

“We’re like a cork in a bottle down here.”

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