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Damaged swing sets sit closed near Addie Street parking lot in Pismo Beach on Jan. 4, 2024. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

PISMO BEACH, Calif. – Less than a week after large waves pounded its shoreline, the City of Pismo Beach is cleaning up and beginning repairs to storm-damaged infrastructure along the waterfront.

“We saw sustained damage to our volleyball courts, which were directly behind me, some of our swing sets, and then the three wooden staircases on either end of the Pier Plaza,” said Pismo Beach City Manager Jorge Garcia. “All sustained various amounts of damage. We did also see some damage to our Chapman Estate, the cottage that’s closest to the ocean also sustained some structural damage as a result of a wave that hit it.”

Garcia estimated the financial damages caused by the storm add up to be about $55,000.

“Definitely could have been a lot worse,” said Garcia. “We attribute that to a couple of different things. One, sheer luck that the waves didn’t crash as hard as they did in areas north and south of us, and one of the other components is our preparation and the investment that the city council has made into the community.”

Garcia also pointed out it was just last year the city held a ribbon cutting for its Ocean Boulevard and Bluff Protection project.

“That project, had we not completed that when we did, we may have lost half of Ocean Boulevard as a roadway and all of the infrastructure assets that were there,” said Garcia. “Those types of investments have led to our ability to withstand and weather the storms that have come and that those that will come in. Additionally, the resources that we have here in the community. Our city council, again, has resourced us that we have the right tools, the right equipment and the right staffing to make sure that we can address any of these challenges that are posed to us.”

While parts of Pismo Beach and Shell Beach sustained damaged, one major attraction that remained unharmed was the city’s popular pier, which is now back open to the public.

Visitors to the beach, however, will notice the shoreline looks a little different after the waves scoured away a significant amount of sand around the pier area.

“You’ll see we lost quite a bit of sand as a part of the ocean receding,” said Garcia. “That will have some lasting impacts and will be working with our Public Works crews and recreation staff in order to restore some of the amenities here on the Central Coast.”

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