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Apr 26

Lopez Dam construction

Intake pipe (left) rises behind Lopez Dam in early January 1968. Jim Vestal/Telegram-Tribune ©The Tribune

Intake pipe (left) rises behind Lopez Dam in early January 1968.
Jim Vestal/Telegram-Tribune ©The Tribune

They did not know they were in a race against time. A year later torrential rains would cause flooding everywhere but downstream from Lopez Dam. There the new structure would impound water filling the reservoir much more quickly than expected. Here workers pour concrete around the intake structure in January of 1968. The facility provides for much of the south county’s water needs with the exception of Nipomo. Before this facility was completed water in the Pismo Beach area was experiencing salt water contamination as wells outstripped the fresh water supply. At the far right is the lonely vision of Santa Manuela schoolhouse, soon to be moved from the future lake bottom into Arroyo Grande. A year later this view would show a new lake and the county would be mopping up from the epic rain of 1969.

Related posts:

  1. Lopez Lake dedicated
  2. 1969 Lopez Lake opens
  3. The mystery of La Maria, the girl of Lopez Canyon
  4. 1965 Lopez Dam Proposal
  5. 1968 Upper Lopez Canyon Road