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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 12:44 pm | A Few Clouds 59º


Santa Barbara County Still at Risk of Flash Flooding

After a wild day of thunderstorms, flash floods and mudslides that disrupted traffic throughout Santa Barbara County, the National Weather Service warned Saturday that areas of the county were still at risk of flash flooding.

The weather service said a stubborn, moist and unstable air mass may result in another round of slow-moving thunderstorms capable of producing flash floods, mudslides and debris flows.

A flash flood watch is in effect for interior regions of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties through Saturday evening.  

The moist conditions also are responsible for the increasingly common humidity on the Central Coast, the weather service said.

Saturday’s forecast is for mostly sunny skies on the South Coast, with high temperatures in the low 80s.

The North County is expected to be breezy and slightly cooler, with highs in the low 70s. West northwest winds of 15 to 20 mph are likely, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

After a cloudy start, the weather service said Sunday should bring more of the same throughout the county.

Heavy thunderstorms in northeastern Santa Barbara County triggered widespread flooding that stranded as many as 100 vehicles, including a school bus, along Highway 166 on Friday afternoon.

The highway linking the Central Coast and the southern San Joaquin Valley was closed for several hours Friday, but was reopened around 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, Friday mudslides that closed Interstate 5 over the Grapevine north of Los Angeles forced traffic onto Highway 101, creating massive gridlock throughout Santa Barbara County until early Saturday.

» Click here for the complete National Weather Service forecast.

» Click here for the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services. Click here to sign up for the OES’ messaging service. Connect with 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. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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