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Flash Flood Buries Calif. Campsites

February 5, 2008 by   - () Leave a Comment

For at least the next week, about the only campers at the Oceano Dunes North Beach Campground along the central California coast will be those with feathers and beaks.
A flash flood at the dunes over the weekend buried campsites in water, delaying the reopening of the campground and leaving ducks and other waterfowl free to take over, according to the Santa Maria Times, Santa Maria, Calif.
Most campers were finally able to cross Arroyo Grande Creek and exit the park by Monday (Feb. 4), after heavy rains overnight Saturday resulted in a surge of drainage that stranded some vehicles and left two stuck while trying to cross the creek Sunday, said state parks Ranger Robert Tolin.
The rush of water, “which we weren’t expecting,” flooded the campground that was set to reopen as early as Sunday after being closed for about two weeks due to flooding from earlier storms, Tolin said.
“It was looking really good, so we were thinking about opening up,” he said.
After the weekend rain, the campground will remain closed for at least another week, Tolin said.
Excess water in the creek moves its course south about another quarter of a mile, Tolin said.
“And it does strand people, and it strands them for a couple days, but usually not more than that,” he said.
Tolin said that probably one campsite remained occupied Monday, as the rest of the campers had cleared out.
In addition to the towing of the two stuck vehicles, about 30 other vehicles were towed across the creek Sunday, he said.
Jon Hodgson, an employee with Steve’s Towing in Grover Beach, said the company was busy for about three hours Sunday afternoon “just pulling people across the creek.”
Increased business is typically seen when there are storms in the area, Hodgson said.

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