California areas advised to evacuate ahead of potential mudslides

California areas advised to evacuate ahead of potential mudslides

If the approaching storm is judged to be severe, Santa Barbara County officials, based on an emergency plan they are following, could bump up the recommended evacuation warning they have issued to a mandatory order about 24 hours before rains arrive. "And if something bad happens, I'll be able to get out of here".

"We're thrilled about this storm", Myers said.

"Start leaving now", said Sheriff Brown.

The sheriff's office, in consultation with fire agencies and other public safety officials, lifted the evacuation order at 9 a.m. (noon ET) on Friday.

Santa Barbara County Deputies Mike Harris (L) and Noel Rivas talk with a resident, advising of mandatory evacuation notice due to forecasted rain and possible debris flow, near Carpinteria, California, U.S., March 1, 2018.

"I think we're looking pretty good as long as we can make it through the morning", said Mike Eliason, a Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman.

A storm that authorities feared would cause another mudslide in burn areas passed through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties without causing any major damage.




That level of rainfall would amount to about a third of the intensity of January's downpours, but still exceed the capacity of the region's catchment and drainage systems for controlling flash floods, she said.

Significant preparations were being made Thursday in the event of flooding or mud flows. The showgrounds are accepting large animals.

The location for evacuation centers and animal shelters will be announced tonight.

Earlier this week, the Montecito Union School District opted to host Thursday and Friday classes at schools in the Hope Elementary School District. There were no estimates on how many people may have left the area. "We want people to recognize that this is just an inconvenience".

While the bulk of rain should pass through the area by Friday afternoon, the area still may see light showers through Saturday in the coastal areas and through Sunday in the mountains. Those failing to heed the order are advised they are responsible for their own well-being for the duration of the evacuation. A high-pressure ridge will begin to form Sunday afternoon, contributing to a warmup early next week.

The latest warning covers areas along the Pacific Coast and the foothills, including the affluent communities of Montecito and Goleta.

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