MOLDY FRUIT: Hundreds of thousands of strawberries were ruined this week after an unusually late rainstorm rolled through Santa Barbara County last weekend. The rainfall was not remarkably abundant – just over an inch-and-a-half fell in the valley, while downtown Santa Barbara absorbed just over an inch. But it was the untimely nature of the storm that caused the damage. The annual strawberry crop was in the height of its harvest season when the rain began to fall, destroying all of the fruit already showing color. The funky low-pressure system responsible for the berry carnage was not a complete anomaly, as the Santa Barbara area averages about half an inch of rain every May.
Originally published 12:00 p.m., May 25, 2006
Updated 3:34 p.m., June 16, 2006
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