As of 9 a.m. today, there are no reports of excessive flooding, mudslides, or movement of boulders – impacts that emergency officials were concerned about when they decided to evacuate certain neighborhoods in the Tea Fire burn area on Tuesday evening. The evacuation order and the evacuation warning are both still in effect this morning.
John Ahlman, City of Santa Barbara Fire Department spokesperson, said he has heard of no major incidents related to the rain that started falling late Tuesday afternoon. He said, “The rain is continuing today and the soil is becoming more saturated, so we don’t know what the day will bring.”
Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte with the Santa Barbara Police Department reports that officers are patrolling the evacuated areas, protecting the empty homes from potential looting, but also keeping an eye on the creeks and roads. No roads have washed out due to flooding; however, portions of some streets in the Tea Fire area remain closed, such as parts of Mountain Drive and Gibraltar Road. The county’s Web site (countyofsb.org) has a link listing road closures.
Duarte added that city police were busy last night evacuating folks, making sure people got out of the area safely. As for Thanksgiving Day, he said, “I don’t know about turkey dinner. We are ready to be working tomorrow.”