El Niño Knocks Out Power at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport

Jan. 7, 2016
The thunderstorm damaged the airports navigation system and runway lights.

As originally reported on KSBY, flights have temporarily been halted at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP) following storm related impacts on Wednesday. The airport, which was caught in one of the severe El Niño fueled thunderstorm pummeling the west coast, will be closed during nighttime hours.

Lightning struck SBP’s air traffic control tower, damaging the airport’s navigation system and causing runway lights to stop working. Firefighters were called to investigate the scene after air traffic control workers heard crackling sounds in the wall. The workers evacuated, but the fire department determined there was no signs of fire.

The airport stated in a message on its Facebook page that it is currently working with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to restore normal power. New lighting equipment is expected to arrive on Friday.