Category Archive: Water

Jun 17

Paso Robles land rush 1982

Prospective land buyers lined up for free breakfast in Paso Robles Saturday morning. Hot air balloon marked the sale site. ©Phil Dirkx/The Tribune.

This week the Tribune publishes a five part series on water. The seeds for the issue were being planted in the late 20th Century as Paso Robles expanded to the east side of the Salinas River. The property values seem economical when you look back 30 years but property buyers at the time also had …

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May 31

Building Niblick Bridge in Paso Robles

Municipal Services Director Jay Lyon checks progress on the Niblick bridge. His tenure began with the 13th Street Bridge.

When Jay Lyon retired as Paso Robles municipal services director it was a chance to review accomplishments and predict the future. Phil Dirkx wrote a story and sidebar that ran February 26, 1987 and here are a few of the highlights. Jay Lyon, Paso Robles municipal services director will finish his city career the same …

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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

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 …

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Dec 05

Flooding on South Higuera Street

Cal Poly instructor John Boyd eades along lower Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo Monday as he walks home because buses weren't running. ©Tony Hertz/Telegram-Tribune

Humans like to build on flat level land. Problem is the water likes it too. We can go decades between floods in San Luis County but when a cloud bursts the results can be swift. Any time rain falls faster than one inch per hour flooding is likely to follow. Parts of South Higuera Street …

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Apr 25

Drinking water straight out of the tap

A tall, cold one It's a tall order for little Phil Osburn, but the 3-year-old from San Luis Obispo managed to turn on the faucet to quench his thirst. Phil and his family spent a recent summer's day playing at Laguna Lake Park June 8, 1984. ©Doug Parker/Telegram-Tribune

It just got harder to find commercial bottled water in a National Park. According to an environmental specialist at Grand Canyon disposable bottles make up 20% of the Grand Canyon’s waste stream, and 30% of the recyclables. So to the get rid of the problem, the disposable bottles were banished from the store shelves inside …

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Mar 18

General Douglas MacArthur evacuates, World War II week by week

Telegram-Tribune March 17, 1942 "Gen. MacArthur takes command in Australia.

General Douglas MacArthur was ordered to evacuate from the Philippines by President Franklin Roosevelt as the situation deteriorated. The general, his wife and son escaped through the Japanese blockade on torpedo boats on March 11-12. MacArthur later flew to Australia and vowed “I came out of Bataan and I shall return.” The general had retired …

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Feb 23

The leaning San Luis Obispo water tower, when demolitions go awry

The old General Fireproofing water tower is demolished. The 100,000-gallon tower was located off of Southwood Drive in San Luis Obispo. ©The Tribune/Wayne Nicholls

Though the moment was fleeting, San Luis Obispo could have been mentioned in the same breath as Pisa, Italy. For a few hours in the summer of 1980, a failed demolition attempt gave the town a leaning water tower. There is nothing like high explosives and an defunct relic to make a good picture. The …

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Feb 22

The 1914 flood in Arroyo Grande, the Leonard Collection

Late January 1914 brought flooding in Arroyo Grande undermining Bridge Street's bridge.

The epic flooding of 1914 has been covered in two previous posts. One shows flooding as Tally Ho Creek cuts through Branch Street in Arroyo Grande. The other shows the structure that gives Bridge Street a name, undermined by flooding. This looks to be the same bridge from the opposite point of view and view …

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Jan 17

How dry I am, Salinas Reservoir dehydrated

District Ranger Dan Sherwin stands atop bridge that would normally be under many feet of water at Santa Margarita Lake as drought exposed the old Pozo Road. ©The Tribune/Robert Dyer

“And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.” — John Steinbeck, East of Eden According to meteorologist John Lindsey, barring rainfall late this month, we are on track for …

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Jan 12

The mystery of La Maria, the girl of Lopez Canyon

DECORATIVE PIECE FROM CASKET Earl Wood from wood funeral Home holds religious emblem found in grave.

Below the placid surface of Lopez Lake, a mystery from long ago. Had she survived she would have been an over 70-year-old woman when the dam was under construction. As the dam took shape the discovery of a grave upstream forced the county to act. From the then Telegram-Tribune, January 10, 1968: ‘La Maria’ leaves …

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