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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 12:55 am | Fair 49º

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Officials Warn of Severe Weather Ahead

For the latest storm news, check here for a compilation of reports from Noozhawk staff and readers.


11:05 a.m. Sunday — The Santa Barbara County Flood Control District reported the following rainfall totals:

Buellton, 1.73 inches in the last 24 hours, 7.18 total inches during the current storm
Cachuma, 2.71 inches, 9.79 total
Carpinteria, .24 inches, 4.57 total
Cuyama, .58 inches, 1.88 total
Figueroa Mountain, 1.30 inches, 5.83 total
Gibraltar Dam, 2.32 inches, 11.80 total
Goleta, 2.05 inches, 7.53 total
Lompoc, 1.46 inches, 5.75 total
Los Alamos, 1 inch, 7.62 total
San Marcos Pass, 1.10 inches, 8.22 total
Santa Barbara, 1.30 inches, 6.41 total
Santa Maria, .43 inches, 3.36 total
Santa Ynez, 1.75 inches, 7.65 total
Sisquoc, .90 inch, 5,23 total

5:40 p.m. Friday — Almost a foot of snow blanketed the top of Romero Canyon down to about the 700-foot level.

— Chuck Graham{mosimage}

4:42 p.m. Friday — This week’s strong southeast winds grounded four boats on East Beach in the last 24 hours, along with a fifth boat below Santa Barbara Cemetery. The Harbor Patrol intercepted five other vessels before they went ashore. All of the boats were moored in "fool’s anchorage" east of Stearns Wharf.

— Brian Slagle, Santa Barbara Waterfront Department

3:35 p.m. Friday — With several inches of rain and strong, gusty winds forecast this weekend, county emergency and public safety officials are advising residents to heed flood advisories and other severe weather warnings.

If there is a countywide emergency or major flooding, emergency information will be posted on the county’s Web site and will be aired on cable TV Channel 20.

The Public Works Department is offering free sand and sandbags at the county’s corporation yards, 4430 Calle Real, near the county Solid Waste Transfer Station. A 25-bag limit is requested.

— William H. Boyer, Santa Barbara County communications director

3:30 p.m. Friday — Windy conditions at Lake Cachuma have prompted the county Parks Department to close the lake to boaters. The lake may remain closed through the weekend, although the campground is open, parks director Daniel Hernandez said. Parks staff is working to protect Cachuma’s docks, boat ramp and other facilities as the lake’s water level continues to rise. For closure information, visitors should call the Parks Department at 805.686.5055.

— William H. Boyer, Santa Barbara County communications director

3:25 p.m. Friday — County Public Works Department and Flood Control District staff and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials will be keeping a close watch on Lake Cachuma this weekend in case a mandatory water release is required via Bradbury Dam. Cachuma’s water level is currently at about 733 feet above sea level and deputy public works director Tom Fayram said the overall level would have to rise by about 10 feet before a release is requested.

Cachuma is considered full when it reaches 750 feet above sea level and releases would be considered mandatory at that point as long as water continues to come into the lake. When full, the lake contains about 190,000 acre feet of water. It currently has about 140,000 acre feet of water.

The last time Bradbury Dam’s gates were opened because of storm water runoff was in 2005, Fayram said. Depending on how much rain falls this weekend, it is possible releases could occur early next week, he said.

— William H. Boyer, Santa Barbara County communications director

1:40 p.m. Friday — Power has been restored to Washington School, 290 Lighthouse Road, on the Mesa. Students will be dismissed at the regular time.

The Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department’s afterschool program has been canceled for the day. Parents are still being asked to pick up children in the Kids Care program by 4 p.m. Friday.

—  Barbara Keyani, Santa Barbara School District

12:20 p.m. Friday — The Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department is recommending that the public avoid beach and cliff areas due to saturated soil conditions and potential erosion. Residents also are advised to avoid entering the ocean because of high surf and poor water quality from storm runoff.

— Santos Escobar, city of Santa Barbara parks manager

12:05 p.m. Friday — There is a power outage at Washington School, 290 Lighthouse Road, because of a downed power line. The outage will be in effect through the day. Students are safe, school will remain in session, and students will be dismissed at the usual time.

The Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department has canceled Friday’s afterschool program at Washington School. The Child Development Program’s Kids Care afterschool program normally operates until 6 p.m. and serves approximately 25-30 children. Parents are asked to pick up their child no later than 4 p.m., earlier if possible.

—  Barbara Keyani, Santa Barbara School District

11:25 a.m. Friday— Because of a downed power line near Washington School, 290 Lighthouse Road, the school will not have power for the rest of the day. The problem is linked to the current rainstorms.

Students are safe and school is in session (there is natural light in the classroom); students will be dismissed at the usual time.

Because of the absence of power, the phone system is not in operation.

Communication is under way with providers of the school’s afterschool programs. An update will be avaliable as soon as the status of afterschool programs has been confirmed.

—  Barbara Keyani, Santa Barbara School District

7:30 p.m. Thursday — Heavy winds knocked out power for about 5,000 Santa Barbara residents Thursday afternoon, and about 500 of them were still in the dark as of 7:30 p.m.

Rudy Gonzales, region manager for Southern California Edison, said a wind tunnel sent parts of trees into power lines during Thursday’s rain storm sometime around 3 p.m.

“I don’t know if they took the trees down, but they made contact,” he said.

As of 7:30 p.m., about 300 customers were without power in the downtown swath bounded by Micheltorena, Canon Perdido, Santa Barbara and De la Vina streets. Another 200 were in the dark on the Riviera, in the area of Alameda Padre Serra and Mission Ridge Road.

— Noozhawk Staff{mosimage}

3:30 p.m. Thursday — A strong wind gust toppled a large tree onto cars parked along the 400 block of East Gutierrez Street, pulling down high-voltage power lines. Santa Barbara firefighters and police closed Gutierrez Street to traffic so crews could fix the problem. There were no injuries.

— Jack Kimball

3 p.m. Thursday  — Here are some links you may find useful:

Lake Cachuma Daily Operations Report

(based on 8 a.m. dam tender readings for the previous 24 hours)

Central Valley Operations Reports  (for previous months; for Lake Cachuma, scroll down to bottom of the list)

U.S. Geological Survey  (real time stream data from various gauging stations in California; click on location to bring up data)

— Bob Wignot, Goleta


4:30 p.m. Wednesday — The county Fire Department water rescue team was dispatched to assist a man whose pickup truck and horse trailer had become trapped by rapidly rising Gaviota Creek, at Gaviota Park entering Hollister Ranch. Rescuers first helped the man reach a nearby hillside and then, with the man safely in the middle of the group, team members waded with him to higher ground, using 10-foot yellow pike poles for support against the current and feeling ahead for holes and obstacles. The truck and its trailer were later towed to safety. The three horses in the trailer were unhurt in the incident.

— Eli Iskow, Santa Barbara County Fire Department


2:35 p.m. WednesdayThe American Red Cross of Santa Barbara County has set up an emergency shelter at the Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave. It will be staffed by Red Cross volunteers until further notice. For more information, call 805.687.1331 x126.

— Sonia Fernandez, Noozhawk

Video: Gutierrez Street Flooding / Jack Kimball video


2:34 p.m. Wednesday — The Santa Barbara Airport is experiencing some flooding of a portion of its taxiways, but not enough to shut down operations. Flights have been delayed since 10 a.m., according to airport representative Terri Gibson, because of cloud cover. Some flights have been redirected to Los Angeles and Burbank airports. Call 805.967.7111 for more information.{mosimage}

— Sonia Fernandez, Noozhawk

1:10 p.m. Wednesday — Light hail rained down for a period of about a minute here in the Mesa Area of Santa Barbara, as the rain continues to pummel down on the earth, followed by lighting and earth-shaking, window-rattling thunder. The rain has not let up once throughout the day although on a number of occasions torrent sheets of rain have dropped from the sky. Although the rain is welcome, the quantity in such a short period of time has proved to be too overwhelming for our adobe-clayed soiled town.

— Haskell Friedman, Oceano Avenue and Cliff Drive, the Mesa

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