Santa Barbara weathered its first installment of deluge fairly well today. According to county officials, the South Coast experienced no serious damage from the heavy rain and high winds, and no flooding or debris flows occurred. The hydromulching, debris racks set up in creeks, and other preventative measures taken by the city and county Flood Control and Public Works departments appear to have worked, and fire departments had no reports of swift water rescues or other storm-related emergencies. In fact, Monday’s federal holiday saw throngs of people at area beaches in the afternoon when the storm cleared and the sun began shining. The air was thick with the smell of earth from chocolate-colored streams carrying sediment from the mountains to the ocean, but there were no major problems on the South Coast.
In the northern part of the county, however, there was a power outage affecting nearly 25,000 Pacific Gas & Electric customers. Information from PG&E has been scant, but the company’s Web site indicated that up to 5,000 customers are still without power. A set of downed power lines along a section of Highway 166 between Guadalupe and Santa Maria may have been the cause of the outage, but county officials are unsure. Caltrans reported this afternoon that the road, which was closed earlier today when the lines fell, is still blocked off.
Despite the relative lack of incident today, authorities have been quick to point out that more heavy rain is expected over the next several days. Sandbagging and other precautions taken before and during this most recent bout of precipitation should be rechecked, and boat owners are encouraged to check their boats’ moorings whilst the current lull is upon us. The National Weather Service has a flash flood watch in effect, as heavy rains, possibly beginning tonight, have the potential to cause flooding and debris flows. The series of storms, which are moving from west to east, are affecting the entire southern half of the state with high surf and heavy mountain snows. A high surf advisory and coastal flood watch for west-facing beaches is in effect until Friday.
In North County, sand can be obtained at the following locations:
- North County / Santa Maria County Road Yard on Foster
- Santa Ynez Airport / County Fire Station 32
- City of Santa Maria Public Works Yard, 830 W. Cypress. (8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday; sand only, no bags)
- Santa Maria, West Carmen Lane just west of Depot Street (24/7; sand only, no bags)
Sand and sandbags remain available at the following South County locations:
- County Fire Station 14, 320 N. Los Carneros in Goleta,
- County Corp Yard at the Transfer Station, 4430 Calle Real
- The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Parking Lot
- Montecito Fire Station 1, on San Ysidro Road
- City of Santa Barbara Annex Yard, 401 E. Yanonali Street
- County Fire Station 11, near Home Depot
- City of Carpinteria Maintenance Yard, 5775 Carpinteria Avenue