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Season’s 2nd Major Storm Soaking Santa Barbara County

Minor flooding reported as band of heavy showers moves through the region

Santa Barbara-area residents fill sandbags as heavy rains continue Wednesday afternoon.
Santa Barbara-area residents fill sandbags as heavy rains continue Wednesday afternoon. (Diego Topete photo)

[Click here for a Noozhawk gallery of photographs from Wednesday's storm.]

Moderate to heavy rain was falling across Santa Barbara County on Wednesday as the season's second major El Nino storm moved through the region.

As of noon, rainfall totals since midnight included 1.62 inches in Goleta, 1.58 inches at UCSB, 1.49 at the Stanwood Fire Station and 1.38 inches in Santa Barbara. 

A band of heavy showers was visible on Dopler radar, and minor mud and rock slides were reported in several locations, including Highway 154 over San Marcos Pass.

Street flooding was reported throughout the South Coast, with vehicles stranded at some intersections due to clogged culverts and drains.

Eight people were rescued from stranded vehicles in Goleta after a storm drain clogged and flooded the intersection at Calaveras and Calle Real.

Santa Barbara County fire crews rescued eight people, including six chidlren from a minivan, at  Calavaras Avenue and Calle Real in Goleta Wednesday after storm drains became clogged, causing street flooding. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County fire crews rescued eight people, including six chidlren from a minivan, at Calavaras Avenue and Calle Real in Goleta Wednesday after storm drains became clogged, causing street flooding. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

A Santa Barbara County Fire Department engine responded to find two cars stranded, with water up to the doors, trapping the people inside, Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. 

An elderly man was carried out of his Cadillac into the fire engine, and then firefighters rescued six children and the adult driver from a minivan, which was on its way to drop the kids at school.

No one was injured and crews were on scene to clear the flooding, Zaniboni said. 

There was some minor flooding and flowing creek beds at the Las Vegas and San Pedro creeks in Goleta. Scroll down for a video of the storm impacts in the creeks. 

Major flooding was occurring Wednesday morning at Garden and Cota streets in downtown Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Major flooding was occurring Wednesday morning at Garden and Cota streets in downtown Santa Barbara. (Glen Hodges photo)

Significant flooding was reported at Garden and Cota streets in downtown Santa Barbara, and there were some road closures in effect. 

Authorities were bracing for more problems along Highway 101 below the Solimar burn area south of Carpinteria; the freeway was shut down for a time Tuesday by flooding.

Northbound lanes, near the burn area, were covered in mud Wednesday and authorities warned of lane closures and slow traffic in the area. 

At midday, one lane was closed in each direction due to mud and water on the roadway.

At the peak of Wednesday’s storm, Hollister Avenue was flooded in Old Town Goleta. Click to view larger
At the peak of Wednesday’s storm, Hollister Avenue was flooded in Old Town Goleta. (Tom Mogduno photo)

Several traffic accidents, possibly weather-related, also were reported, including a single-vehicle rollover with injuries on northbound Highway 101 at Las Positas Road.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

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[Click here for the latest forecast]

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

(Mike McGee / Noozhawk video)

Major flooding was occurring Wednesday at Cota and Laguna streets in downtown Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Major flooding was occurring Wednesday at Cota and Laguna streets in downtown Santa Barbara. (Diego Topete photo)
Tecolote Creek in western Goleta was flowing Wednesday morning, for the first time in recent memory, after the second major storm of the season dumped more than an inch of rain. Click to view larger
Tecolote Creek in western Goleta was flowing Wednesday morning, for the first time in recent memory, after the second major storm of the season dumped more than an inch of rain. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

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