Officials from the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services and the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District are reminding local residents of the continuing risks associated with flooding. Officials are also reminding residents that there is a real need to be vigilant in those areas near or below the fire burn areas.
According to the County’s Emergency Operations Chief, Michael Harris, “Flooding has always been a significant risk for residents in some parts of Santa Barbara County. The fire burn areas heighten that risk. While people don’t need to panic, they do need to pay attention during the rain season.”
After each fire, staff from the District took aggressive mitigation actions to reduce the flooding risk from watershed runoff. As they stated at the time, Tom Fayram, Deputy Director of County Public Works remind local residents, “The burn areas will increase the risk of flooding for a few years after the actual fires.”
Fayram further stated, “Last winter we had a couple of big storms, and our preparation paid off. However, the risk remains real and people need to stay tuned during heavier rains to their local media stations and emergency officials.”
In anticipation of rains entering the area, the County has announced the following sandbag locations:
– At the very end of County Dump Road by the County Transfer Station
– Next to County Fire Station 14 on Los Carneros Road in Goleta
In addition, County officials reminded residents that may be at risk, or unsure of their risk, to work with their homeowner’s insurance carrier to consider flood and/or mudslide insurance.
Fayram went on to state, “It is a good reminder that homeowner’s policies don’t usually cover flood and mudslide damage. If you are in doubt, talk to your insurer.”