Storm Leaves Thousands of Central Coast Residents Without Power

By John Holguin 

February 26, 2024
Storm uprooted trees along Grand Avenue in Grover Beach on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2024. (Photo credit: KSBY)
Downed Tree In SLO County. (Photo credit: NWS Los Angeles.)

On February 2nd, a series of storms hit most of Southern California. These storms included high winds, heavy rain and brought overcast weather for most of the week. All of these elements combined caused trees to fall on roads and at parks, fences to be  brought down, and even a tornado warning for the Central Coast. It also caused property damage and even caused some roads to close. 

Because of the  high winds and heavy rain, there were power outages all over SLO County. This was based on PG&E’s decision  that areas with  strong wind forces would have their power shut off.  Areas like Los Osos, Morro Bay, Arroyo Grande, Pismo, Shell beach, San Luis Obispo and Cayucos areas experienced these power outages. This was done to prevent any telephone pole fires or damages from the rain and wind. Residents in Morro Bay reported that the power outage lasted around four hours before finally turning back on.

Along with the high winds, heavy on and off rain showers mixed with the high winds, creating rain that fell from all sides. That rain caused flood advisories for SLO and Santa Barbara County. Some roads in SLO County did flood, but it was nothing too severe that would cause a road closure or flood buildings like last year's flood in January of 2023. However, the rain did damage freeways and other roads, leaving massive potholes in  the roads. 

High surf advisories were also put out by SLO and Santa Barbara County, and there was also some exotic weather for the Central Coast; a tornado warning was issued for Los Osos and the Grover Beach area. Although it was not as big as an F5 tornado as seen in the Midwest, it did touch the ground in Grover Beach, this tornado was formed due to the high mile per hour winds. It formed what's called  a “Cold air funnel” which is essentially a tornado made from cold air and high mile per hour winds. Many in the SLO County area had gotten a tornado warning on their phones and were asked to shelter in place. Thankfully, no one was hurt by the tornado.

Cold air funnel in San Luis Obispo (Photo credit: KSBY)