Santa Barbara County elevates evacuation warning ahead of storm

Angelo Anderson
March 1, 2018

These additional resources will be available to respond throughout the Santa Barbara County operational area.

Residents in parts of Santa Barbara Country are being urged to evacuate ahead of a winter storm expected to hit the area on Thursday.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office released a recommended evacuation warning February 28, warning residents near the Thomas, Sherpa and Whittier burn areas of potential mudslides and debris flows.

Sheriff Bill Brown said evacuations several times year will be the new normal in Montecito until the vegetation destroyed in the Thomas Fire grows back.

A National Weather Service report indicated the area may receive moderate to heavy rainfall from a storm arriving Thursday that may generate mud and debris flows.

Meanwhile, schools are staying open for the time being.

If mandatory evacuation orders are issued, they would go into effect by 9 a.m. Thursday, according to the county.

The California Highway Patrol will shut down Highway 101 between Milpas Street in Santa Barbara and Highway 150, near Carpinteria, late Thursday night if mandatory evacuation orders are issued.

Right now we have a predicted storm, it is close to requiring an evacuation, but maybe it won't, " said Lewin.

Precipitation early on Friday may be strong enough to trigger debris flows.

That includes departments all over the county - Santa Barbara, Montecito, Carpinteria/Summerland, Santa Maria, Lompoc and Vandenberg Air Force Base - and the higher staffing level will make more equipment and crews available, including a swift water rescue team and an urban search and rescue team, Zaniboni said.

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Barbara County Firefighters haul dozens of pounds of hose and equipment down steep terrain below E. Camino Cielo to root out and extinguish smoldering hot spots in Santa Barbara, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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