Saturday, October 20 , 2018, 5:38 pm | Fair 80º


Storm Dumps Rain on Santa Barbara County; More on the Way

Minor incidents of roadway flooding and fallen trees reported as emergency responders kept their eyes on recent burn areas


This story was last updated at 2:05 p.m. Wednesday.

Steady rainfall across Santa Barbara County on Wednesday was causing minor incidents of roadway flooding and fallen trees as emergency responders kept their eyes on recent burn areas, especially the Montecito and Carpinteria communities below the Thomas Fire.

Responders were staged throughout the South Coast in case of storm-related emergencies caused by flooding or debris flows, which ​are predicted in the latest weather forecast. 

Mandatory evacuation orders were in effect Wednesday for western Goleta Valley, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria areas, affecting about 30,000 people. 

Areas on the South Coast were receiving the 1/2-inch-per-hour rainfall rates that are the minimal threshold for causing debris flows, according to the National Weather Service. 

The storm system, fueled by an "atmospheric river" of sub-tropic moisture off the coast, is expected to drop light rain on the region with periods of moderate-to-heavy rainfall, said Stuart Seto, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. 

Authorities were watching for minor debris flows as of Wednesday morning, he said, and there has been reported minor flooding throughout the county. 

  3-Hour 24-Hour
Buellton 0.03" 1.38"
Carpinteria 0.41" 1.65"
Cold Spring DB 0.51" 1.93"
E. Camino Cielo 0.45" 2.30"
Goleta 0.30" 1.75"
Lompoc 0.05" 1.36"
Montecito 0.46" 1.85"
Orcutt 0.05" 1.08"
San Marcos Pass 0.36" 1.99"
Santa Barbara 0.47" 1.93"
Santa Maria 0.03" 1.04"
Tecolote Canyon 0.31" 1.93"

The storm is expected to continue through Thursday, with more potential for debris-flow-causing rainfall later Wednesday into Thursday morning for Santa Barbara County. 

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect through 5 p.m. Thursday.  

“Public safety officials are referring to this moment as a ‘half time’ for this storm because we are seeing a slight lull,” Santa Barbara County said mid-morning. ”Steady and higher intensity of rainfall is expected later Wednesday into Thursday. Stay safe and remain vigilant!”

United canceled multiple flights out of the Santa Barbara Airport Wednesday morning and the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner reported a train delayed in Carpinteria as of 1:45 p.m. while Union Pacific crews removed a mudslide near the tracks. 

There were multiple vehicle accidents throughout the county, including jack-knifed semi trucks, Wednesday morning but no injuries were reported.

The California Highway Patrol was prepared to close Highway 101, between Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, if necessary, and had closed Highway 33 north of Ojai in Ventura County due to a debris flow Wednesday morning. 

» Click here for the latest National Weather Service forecast.

» Click here to sign up for Noozhawk’s free breaking news text alerts to your cell phone.

» Click here for the Ready Santa Barbara County website.

» Click here to sign up for emergency notifications from the Santa Barbara County Aware & Prepare program.

» Click here for Ventura County evacuation orders and emergency information.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli 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.

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