Several North County roadways were closed Friday morning due to flooding as an atmospheric river brought rainy, windy weather to the region.
Caltrans closed Highway 135 from Bell Street in Los Alamos to Highway 1 near Orcutt due to flooding and mud flows.
Check the Caltrans Quickmap for other highway and road closures.
As of 8:10 a.m., most Santa Barbara County rainfall monitoring stations reported receiving one-third of an inch to 1 inch of rain in the previous 24-hour period.
The Gaviota Coast station reported the most so far, at 1.05 inches.
This storm is expected to drop 2-4 inches on Santa Barbara County and cause some roadway flooding.
The county sent out preparedness messaging earlier this week and local fire departments increased their staffing by about 38 personnel and prepositioned heavy equipment and crews to respond to storm-related incidents.
County Fire Capt. Scott Safechuck advised people to stay away from rivers, streams and embankments during the storm.
The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory early Friday morning to warn of shallow debris flows near recent wildfire burn areas due to heavy rainfall.
“Widespread ponding of water is expected on area roadways with flooding of low-lying areas and intersections. Mudslides and rockslides are likely on canyon roads. There will likely be rises in small streams and normally dry arroyos,” the NWS said in its advisory.
Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected throughout the day Friday, with the heaviest rain between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The NWS has a flood watch in effect for Santa Barbara County through 4 a.m. Saturday, and has a wind advisory in effect until 3 p.m. Friday with gusts up to 50 mph expected across mountains and interior valleys.
“Drier weather is expected Sunday and Monday, then another strong storm is expected Tuesday and Wednesday,” the NWS said in its forecast discussion Friday.
The Bureau of Reclamation started releasing additional water from Lake Cachuma’s Bradbury Dam this week, increasing the rate to 5,000 cubic feet per second from 3,000 cfs, because of the potential inflow from storm runoff.
The reservoir filled to capacity and spilled in February, for the first time since 2011.
Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story and more storm-related coverage.