In response to the Flash Flood Watch issued by the Naitonal Weather Service this evening, an Evacuation Warning has been issued by Santa Barbara County and the City of Santa Barbara, covering the Tea Fire burn area, the Sycamore Creek area, and the low lying areas directly below where the fire occurred. According to city officials, this includes the Eastside all the way to the ocean. County officials said that their Reverse 911 system will be online to alert all residents in the areas listed if the Evacuation Warning is upgraded to an Evacuation Order.
Authorities are encouraging everyone in the Evacuation Warning areas to prepare for an emergency. Heavy rains of up to two inches are expected on Tuesday, and loose soil in the Tea Fire burn area could cause mud flows-carrying rocks, sticks, and other debris with it. The many rocks and boulders in the burn area pose a major threat to homes and businesses in the burn area and below.
Officials have suggested that residents in the warning areas might consider evacuating in anticipation of an actual Evacuation Order. While friends and family are usually the best option for those electing to leave their homes, residents without emergency shelter options should call the American Red Cross at (805) 687-1331.
The county’s Emergency Operations Center is now active, and the call center-(805) 681-5197-will remain staffed to answer questions based upon need and call volume.
The following roads may be closed by Caltrans, the City of Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara County in response to worsening conditions:
Mountain Drive between El Cielito and Cold Spring Road
Highway 192 between Orizaba and Conejo Road
Sycamore Canyon Road between Stanwood Drive and Five Points
Sandbags will be available for homeowners and residents from the City of Santa Barbara’s Corporate Annex Yard at 401 E. Yanonali St. The yard will be open until 8 p.m. tonight, and from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. the rest of the week, unless other notice is given.
For more information, visit the county’s Web site, and the city’s Web site. For emergency preparation tips, visit www.ready.gov. For National Weather Service (NWS) information and flash flood updates, visit the NWS Web site.