First responders managed to scoop 56 people out of the ocean by the City of Santa Barbara’s waterfront, dumped there by the Sunday afternoon micro-burst of intense rains and shearing winds. To date, no injuries have been reported, according to assistant Fire Chief Lee Waldon, who said everyone tossed overboard has been accounted for.
He said four engines were dispatched to the scene. Harbor Patrol, he said, got 17 out of the water. Intense weather was predicted, he said, but still, the intensity of the wind caught public safety officials by surprise. Trees were entirely uprooted throughout downtown Santa Barbara, light posts knocked over, and branches sheered off by the dozens.
Gutters were overflowing, storm drains backed up, and people downtown responded with a mixture of exultation and apprehension. Power outages were intermittent. As the storm — propelled by a record setting heat wave — moved north, county emergency planners issued a mudslide evacuation warning for the Alamo burn area.