Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Evacuations lifted, but threat of more mudslides continue

Evacuations lifted, but threat of more mudslides continue

"Each storm since the 1/9 Debris Flow adds to our understanding and ability to make decisions to keep residents safe, evacuate residents only when necessary, and return residents home as soon as possible", said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

Those evacuation orders were lifted Tuesday morning local time.

Seto indicated that the National Weather Service may issue flash flood watches or warnings in the county depending on the conditions leading up the storms.

To help assess potential risks, the county advises residents to check the Debris Flow Risk Map posted at www.ReadySBC.org. Santa Barbara County's office of emergency management remained in constant contact with all first responders in areas surrounding recent burn areas.

The SBCSO said several weather systems are due in the area this week but none appear to be a mudslide hazard.

KEYT-TV reports from Montecito that rain has been light early Tuesday but heavier rainfall is expected at late morning.

There's a sigh of relief in parts of Santa Barbara County as a mild storm moves through the area on Tuesday. A voluntary evacuation is in effect in neighbouring Ventura County for areas north of Ojai Valley. Those officials advised that "people with access and functional needs or large animals living in high risk (yellow) areas should consider immediate evacuation".

Captain Dave Zaniboni from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department told FOX 11 News, "If we are predicted to have an isolated area that could possibly see more than half an inch of rain an hour, that's the threshold that triggers a possibility of a moderate to severe mud or debris flow".

The warnings follow the disaster that struck Montecito in January, when a storm unleashed debris flows that destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes and killed almost two-dozen residents.

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