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SLO County under local state of emergency amid massive winter storm

road closure HWY 41.jpg
Hank Hadley
The eastbound lane of Hwy 41 West at Los Altos Road on Monday afternoon. The highway is closed from Los Altos to San Gabriel.

There are flash flood warnings along the Central Coast today, as communities across the area are under shelter-in-place or direct evacuation orders.

This morning, San Luis Obispo County declared a local state of emergency due to the flooding.

At a press conference this afternoon, County Administrative Officer Wade Horton said they’re working to expedite emergency services for places in need.

“We're tracking the intensity of the storm. It's looking like the intensity may start to decrease as the afternoon goes on which is a good thing, but we are here for mobilize. And again, we're focused on keeping the public safe," Horton said.

Flash flooding can be life threatening, especially in areas with creeks and streams. The county is asking residents who live near bodies of water to take extra precautions.

screenshot road closures SLO County
SLO County
A screenshot of SLO County's emergency map shows the severity of road closures this afternoon.

Scott Jalbert, the county’s emergency services manager says anyone who thinks they are in danger should evacuate and seek higher ground. He said there are already reports of people missing.

“We had a very unfortunate incident along the San Marcos Road up in the north part of San Luis Obispo County where a family was impacted by rushing water. The two adults were able to go to safety, but unfortunately a five year old child is missing," he said.

"The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's office is currently conducting a search and rescue operation along the area to try to find the child," Jalbert said.

Right now in the City of San Luis Obispo, intersections like Los Osos Valley Road at Foothill, Oceannaire and Avalon, Marsh and Higuera, and Oceannaire and Galleon through Madonna are experiencing the most flooding.

Earlier today, the city’s fire department evacuated homes and businesses operating on South Higuera between Marsh and Elks Lane because of significant flooding

Information on current local emergencies is available here:

San Luis Obispo County

Santa Barbara County

Monterey County

Gabriela Fernandez is a general assignment reporter at KCBX News. She graduated from Sacramento State with a BA in Political Science. During her senior year, she interned at CapRadio in their podcast department, and later worked for them as an Associate Producer on the TahoeLand podcast.
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