Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 3:09 am | Fair 51º


Local News

Flash-Flood Watch in Effect in Jesusita Fire Area

Up to 10 inches of rain possible by Monday as series of intense storms move in

The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch for the Jesusita Fire burn area Saturday as a series of storms began moving into Southern California. Up to 10 inches of rain could fall on areas of Santa Barbara County by Monday.

The flash-flood watch will be in effect from 4 p.m. Saturday through Sunday evening, with rainfall of more than an inch an hour possible at times. Residents are advised to take steps to protect their property and to remain alert. Officials cautioned motorists to not drive over submerged roads and warned against walking through water above knee level.

The weekend forecast calls for steady rain, heavy at times, through Monday night. The most intense rain is expected overnight Saturday, Sunday afternoon and evening, and again on Monday, and flood advisories are in effect for low-lying and poor drainage areas. Thunderstorms are possible Saturday night and Sunday. High and low temperatures in the 50s are forecast through Tuesday night.

At 1 a.m. Sunday, the county Public Works Department reported rainfall totals of more than 2½ inches throughout much of the county. On the South Coast,Tecolote Canyon west of Goleta had recorded 3.69 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, Refugio Pass 3.68 inches, San Marcos Pass 3.51 inches, Maria Ygnacio Ridge 3.31 inches and Mount Calvary 3.37 inches. Downtown Santa Barbara reported 3.05 inches of rainfall.

So far, the heaviest rain has fallen in and around Santa Maria, with nearly 4 inches reported at Twitchell Reservoir, 3.65 inches in Santa Maria itself, 3.51 inches in Orcutt and 3.41 inches in Guadalupe.

Click here for the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department’s interactive precipitation map.

Sandbags are available at two South Coast locations:

» At the end of County Dump Road by the South Coast Recycling & County Transfer Station, 4430 Calle Real

» Next to county Fire Station 14, 320 N. Los Carneros Road

The storms are a result of a plume of deep subtropical moisture pushing across the Pacific. A series of fronts is expected to dump four to eight inches of rain on south-facing foothill and mountain regions of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties by Monday night.

The weather service said the heavy rains make dangerous debris flows possible in recent burn areas, including the 8,700-acre footprint of the Jesusita Fire, which raged above Santa Barbara in 2009, and that year’s La Brea Fire near New Cuyama.

Another wet storm system is expected to hit Wednesday with yet another just in time for Christmas. According to the weather service, the next few days could see the highest rainfall totals in recent years.

Warming shelters are open for the homeless.

The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara St., will be open each night until Monday, according to Dr. Lynne Jahnke, who has coordinated the shelters.

First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave., is open Saturday, and a van will be available to drive people from the Unitarian Society. St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 6586 Picasso Road in Isla Vista, is also open Saturday. The hours at each site are 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., and guests should not arrive before 5 p.m.

Click here for the complete National Weather Service forecast.

Click here for the county Office of Emergency Services. Click here to sign up for the OES’ messaging service. Follow the OES on Facebook.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >