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SLO County welcomes first rain of the season with safety tips

Elephant seals laying on the beach in San Simeon.
Gabriela Fernandez
Elephant seals laying on the beach in San Simeon.

San Luis Obispo County’s first rain of the season is forecast to begin Wednesday and is expected to last through the weekend – here’s how to stay safe during the rainy weather.

The County is anticipating about one to three inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Scott Jalbert is with SLO County’s Office of Emergency Services. Since this is the first rain after a dry period, he said it’s important for people to drive carefully.

“There's lots of oils and other things on the roadway that when that rain hits it's gonna make it very slippery,” Jalbert said.

Two people died during last winter’s storms.

A woman drowned in her car near Avila Beach when it was overtaken by floodwaters, and a 5-year-old boy from the San Miguel area remains missing after he was swept away in a creek by the heavy rains.

As we head into the winter season, Jalbert reminds people to avoid roads with water moving across them.

“Turn around, don't drown,” Jalbert said. “What that means is if you come across a flooded area, don't drive over it.”

A foot of water could be enough to move a car, as reported by the NWS.

Jalbert also said people should make sure they’re prepared for power outages.

“Make sure you have a flashlight and a radio – both of them battery operated, and make sure that those batteries are changed and ready to go for the season,” Jalbert said.

County emergency officials recommend keeping sandbags on hand in case of potential flooding.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. During her time at Cal Poly, she worked as a news anchor for KCPR Radio and as an intern for the CJ Silas Show on ESPN Radio. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.
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