A heavy band of rain moved through the Santa Barbara County South Coast on Saturday, prompting weather and emergency officials to issue a Flash Flood Warning for communities near the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa burn areas.
Highway 101 was closed between Milpas Street in Santa Barbara and Highway 150 in Carpinteria due to flooding, with several vehicles reported stuck. Mud and water covered the roadway near San Ysidro Creek and other areas, and both directions were still closed as of 11:30 a.m.
Caltrans was hoping to reopen the freeway sometime Saturday night, weather permitting. According to a Caltrans statement, southbound lanes are expected to reopen at 5 p.m. Saturday, with northbound lanes reopening around midnight.
Evacuation orders remained in effect Saturday for communities below the Thomas Fire, Whittier Fire and Sherpa Fire burn areas.
Heavy rainfall swept across the South Coast shortly after 8 a.m., with some rainfall rates above 0.5 inches per hour.
Street flooding, downed trees and other problems were reported throughout the county, with numerous road closures and minor vehicle crashes.
Several Santa Barbara-area freeway underpasses were flooded, including Mission Street, Carrillo and Castillo streets, and officials shut down some Highway 101 exit ramps.
The Metropolitan Transit District altered or canceled several bus routes Saturday morning due to roadway flooding.
Union Pacific reported damage to the railroad tracks north of Ventura, which was delaying some Amtrak train traffic along the coast.
Creeks were flowing strongly, but no major debris flows had been reported as of 11:30 a.m.
Fallen trees were reported all over the county, including one that hit the sheriff’s Isla Vista Foot Patrol station.
In northern Santa Barbara County, several road closures, fallen trees andpower lines were reported.
Fallen trees and toppled power lines completely blocked the lanes in the 2400 block of Highway 135 in Los Alamos.
The two-lane roadway was expected to remain closed between Bell Street and Harris Grade Road until early Saturday afternoon.
Rocks and mud were reported at multiple locations, including along Highway 101 at the Nojoqui Grade summit and on Highway 166 east of Santa Maria with crews working quickly to keep traffic flowing.
|Celite (near Lompoc)||3.45″|
|Cold Spring Debris Basin||1.94″|
|San Marcos Pass||3.81″|
A number of large power outages also were reported in the Santa Maria, Los Alamos, Lompoc and Santa Ynez valleys related to the storm.
On Saturday afternoon, the Montecito Water District said field inspections had found no significant damage to district infrastructure and no impacts to water service was reported.
Jameson Lake, Montecito’s main source of water, was reaching capacity, and officials said the lake’s elevation was 2 feet away from spilling over Juncal Dam.
Montecito’s All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, which was pressed into service as an emergency triage center in the hours after the deadly Jan. 9, 2018, flash flooding and debris flows, announced that all worship services would be canceled Saturday and Sunday.
“In order to cooperate with emergency personnel, and in order to keep the people of All Saints and the general public safe, All Saints will not be holding worship this weekend, neither on Saturday nor Sunday,” the Rev. Aimée Eyer-Delevett said in an email to parishioners.
“I encourage you all to attend the Episcopal Church nearest you to worship God in the communion of the saints.”
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