[Update: March 12, 11:31 a.m.] At 10:30 a.m. today, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office lifted all mandatory evacuation orders in the county after consultation with fire agencies and other public safety officials. While showers are expected to continue through the afternoon and into the evening hours, rainfall rates forecast by the National Weather Service weren’t as high as anticipated early this morning and should remain low until the storm moves out of the area.
Evacuees who are returning home and require wheelchair or other specialized transport needs can call Easy Lift at (805) 681-1180.
National Weather Service doppler radar indicates less storm activity on Tuesday than had been predicted.
Mandatory Evacuation Orders Issued Ahead of Tuesday Storm
[Original Story: March 12, 3:44 p.m.] A series of mandatory and recommended evacuations have been issued across the Santa Barbara County coast for Monday through Tuesday, ahead of a strengthening Pacific storm. As with the last round of evacuations, areas stretching from Montecito to Rincon, Gaviota, and eastern Santa Maria are affected. The interactive map below can be used to plug in addresses to see what zone they are in. Residents living in mandatory evacuation areas (in red) have been ordered to leave by 8 p.m. on Monday. (Mobile users can access the map here.) The yellow areas on the map could be affected if a debris flow occurs and infrastructure comes to a halt.
A map of areas at risk for debris flows. Community members living in red areas are “in Extreme and High Risk Areas,” according to county officials.
The evacuations come on the heels of a Flash Flood Watch issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) earlier Monday afternoon. The alert covers the Thomas, Whittier, Sherpa, and Alamo burn areas starting Tuesday 7 a.m. through Tuesday around 1 p.m., with rainfall rates expected to be around “a quarter to half inch per hour.”
The NWS warns, however, that rainfall rates could top out around .70 inches per hour with thunderstorm activity possible, particularly at higher elevations of southern Santa Barbara County. Emergency planners say that a rainfall rate of .50 inches per hour can trigger mud and debris flows near burn areas.
An evacuation center for residents has been established at the Goleta Community Center (5679 Hollister Ave.). Before bringing large animals to Earl Warren Showgrounds, first call County Animal Services at (805) 681-4332.
Those unable to access the online interactive map provided by the county can call 2-1-1 from the 805 area code or (800) 400-1572 outside of the 805 area code for specific evacuation information.
This story will be updated with additional evacuation information as it is made available by the county.