Preparations Underway for Incoming Storm System


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(SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif.) – Now is the time to prepare for the next storm system heading our way. With the current dry weather, public safety officials are asking Santa Barbara County residents to prepare for this weekend’s rain and potential impacts.

The National Weather Service is advising that scattered showers will move into the area Friday afternoon. Rain will become moderately heavy Saturday afternoon over Santa Barbara County with forecast rain rates of 0.5” per hour. The National Weather Service expects additional rain starting Sunday evening through Tuesday. Early rainfall estimates show total combined rain amounts of 1.5-3” along the coast and valleys with up to 5” in the mountains. In addition to the rain, the storms will also bring moderate wind, high surf, minor coastal flooding and additional beach erosion. While the upcoming storm systems are forecast to be less significant and evacuations are not expected at this time, it remains imperative for all community members to prepare for potential storm impacts and changing conditions.

Work is actively underway to clear debris basins and prepare creeks and waterways following the Jan. 9-10, 2023 storm.  At this time, several local roads are still closed, including Highway 154, due to rock and debris flows.  Crews are working around the clock to clear roads. The storm left several roads impassable and there are expected to be further impacts with the coming storm.  Residents should prepare for additional impacts from the incoming storm.

Before rain arrives, take steps to ready yourself, your family and your property for the storm.

  • Ensure your vehicles have adequate fuel.
  • Have plenty of food and water on hand in case you cannot leave home for several days.
  • Keep cell phones charged.
  • Utilize sandbags to prevent flooding impacts around your property.
  • Additional storm readiness information can be found on ReadySBC.org

Please be cautious while driving on wet and potentially hazardous roadways. Loose and falling rocks, minor landslides, flooded or damaged roadways, down trees and power lines are ongoing hazards across the County that are actively being mitigated by public safety agencies. Check with CHP and CalTrans for the latest road closure information.

Unplanned power outages are possible. Beaches, Bluffs and the Harbor area may be impacted by dangerous surf, winds and flooding. 

During the storm:

  • If you feel unsafe during the rainfall, shelter in place in your home by gathering your family and pets in the inner most room of your house, preferably on the top floor if you live in a multi-story home. 
  • Do not attempt to drive while it is dark or raining as roads may be damaged and your car may be swept away by moving water or debris.
  • Cliffs and bluffs are considered dangerous due to the high surf and storm surge. In addition, stay away from decks or patios on bluffs.  Under no circumstances, cross safety fencing.
  • Strong winds are also expected, which can cause debris to fall onto roadways and power outages.

REGISTER TO RECEIVE READYSBC ALERTS: If you haven’t registered for emergency alerts, please do so at ReadySBC.org. Click on the red icon to register to receive emergency alerts via text, phone call, and email. 

To access the Santa Barbara County 2023 January Winter Storm Incident Map, visit www.ReadySBC.org.

RECOVERY RESOURCES: The County is working to gather resources for community members impacted by the January 2023 winter storm event.  In the coming days, this webpage will be a source of information, including links for wellness counseling support, housing assistance, information to aid in rebuilding, permitting, hazardous material clean-up, loss of business or employment, and other topics. 

  • Cleanup Kits: Red Cross is offering Clean-Up Kits from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday, Jan. 16 at 2707 State Street in the rear parking lot. The kits are free and include a bucket, shovel, wet mop, broom, squeegee, cleaner, gloves along with other supplies.
  • Debris Management Resources, can be found on ReadySBC.

For updated and detailed information, please visit ReadySBC.org or call Santa Barbara County’s Emergency Call Center at (833) 688-5551 or 211.

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