Tuesday evacuations ordered for Santa Barbara foothills

Angelo Anderson
March 20, 2018

The latest storm is projected to have the heaviest rainfall and longest duration of the winter storm season thus far.

Ahead of heavy rain expected to hit the area in the next several days, Santa Barbara County issued mandatory evacuations for areas that are at extreme and high risk for debris flow.

County emergency officials say rainfall is expected to exceed their threshold of half-an-inch per hour in the coming storm this week.

Also, residents can go to any fire station in the city for free sandbags.

In all, around 7,400 residences are affected and 17,000 to 18,000 people are expected to be displaced in Santa Barbara County. Visit Santa Barbara has an up to date list of available hotels, the most recent version here. More information can be found at www.vcemergency.com.

"This storm is not the storm to question", said Rob Lewin, Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management Director.

Authorities said the storm is expected to drop 5 to 10 inches of rain in the foothills and mountains, "significantly" more total rainfall than on January 9, when mudslides swept through Montecito, killing 21 people and destroying homes.

"It's not about the amount, it's about how fast it falls", Jackson said. "Those mountains are locked and loaded with debris".

An evacuation center is being set up at Ventura College and one will open at noon on March 19 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara.

California Highway Patrol Captain Cindy Ponce said, "If we deem that lives are at risk the 101 will be shut down immediately".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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