Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

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First image: Evacuation Map, Second image: Interactive Debris Flow Risk Area Map

Update by the County of Santa Barbara
4:00 p.m., March 22, 2018

Mandatory Evacuation Orders Lifted for Santa Barbara County Effective Today (Thursday, March 22) at 5 p.m.

Recommended Evacuation Warning Lifted for the Alamo Fire Burn Areas

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, in consultation with Unified Command and other public safety officials, has announced that effective today (Thursday, March 22) at 5 p.m., Mandatory Evacuation Orders will be lifted for all areas.  The Recommended Evacuation Warning issued for the Alamo Fire burn area will also be lifted simultaneously. The National Weather Service has advised that rain rates exceeding threshold levels have now subsided and are not expected to return to the area for the remainder of the storm.

Tonight, moderate to heavy showers may be experienced with possible rainfall rates reaching 0.4 inches per hour. No major debris flows are expected. Minor debris flows may occur but will not threaten populated areas.  The County will monitor this storm activity closely and will remain in communication with the National Weather Service.

This is the third of several weather systems that moved through the Santa Barbara south coast in the past two weeks.  During each of these systems, local creeks and debris basins effectively maintained water within their boundaries and were able to carry significant amounts of rock and debris. Damage was minimal and there were no debris flows resulting in significant damage. We would like to thank the public for their swift cooperation and collaboration towards keeping our community safe.

Some roads in these areas may be closed due to flooding or other hazards. Individuals returning to the area should take caution in traveling these roads and report any non-emergency hazards to the Santa Barbara County’s Sheriff’s Office at 805-681-4100.

The County’s interactive evacuation map will be updated today to reflect changes made to evacuation orders.  Please visit ReadySBC.org to access the interactive evacuation map or call the Public Information Call Center at 833-688-5551 for assistance. 

If evacuated residents who are returning to their residences have a need for  wheelchair  or other specialized transport needs, call Easy Lift at 805-681-1180.

 

Update by the County of Santa Barbara
5:30 p.m., March 20, 2018
 
People who have not evacuated the Extreme Risk and High Risk Areas in and below the Thomas, Sherpa and Whittier Burn Areas must leave now for your own safety. People in or near the Alamo Burn area are in a Recommended Evacuation Warning Area and must be prepared to leave anytime you feel threatened or are instructed to leave. This storm can cause rockfall, mudslides, flooding and debris flows. The Storm is on track to deliver its first impact tonight (Tuesday 3/20/18) and rainfall intensities are expected to cause debris flows. There will be another significant event Wednesday night with even more potential for debris flows.
 
Update by the County of Santa Barbara
4:45 p.m., March 19, 2018

Mandatory Evacuation Order Issued Effective at Noon Tuesday, March 19 for Extreme and High Risk Areas (Red, Yellow and Grey on Debris Flow Risk Map)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, in consultation with the National Weather Service and other public safety officials, has issued a Mandatory Evacuation Order effective tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon for individuals in all risk levels. This means that those in Extreme Risk and High Risk areas – red, yellow and grey areas on the Debris Flow Risk Map – near the Thomas, Sherpa and Whittier burn areas must be out of the evacuation areas by noon Tuesday.

Individuals in the Alamo burn area are in a Recommended Evacuation Warning area.

People with access and functional needs in the Extreme and High Risk areas should consider immediate evacuation. Owners of large animals and livestock should consider relocating immediately.

Updated meteorological models by the National Weather Service indicate that there is potential for rainfall intensity of between .5 to .75 inches per hour, which could trigger debris flows at any time during the storm. In addition, the storm is expected to bring between 5 and 10 inches of rain in the foothills and mountains, significantly more total rainfall than the 1/9 Debris Flow, which brought between 3 and 6 inches to the region.

Those in the Extreme and High Risks areas are required to evacuate at noon on Tuesday (March 20). To determine if a residence or business is in the evacuation area, consult the evacuation boundaries map at ReadySBC.org or call 2-1-1.

The Red Cross will open an evacuation center at Earl Warren Showgrounds, Warren Hall, 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, at noon on Tuesday (March 20). Anyone evacuated or otherwise affected by the approaching storm is welcome to find relief and comfort at this location. For assistance evacuating large and small animals, contact Santa Barbara County Animal Services hotline at 805-681-4332.

According to the National Weather Service this storm is projected to have the heaviest rainfall and the longest duration of this winter storm season. All models indicate high confidence in rainfall totals and the duration of the storm.

According to Rob Lewin, director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, the amount of rain and the intensity is enough to cause flooding even without the impact of the recent fires. “We could experience localized flooding and road closures which are not isolated to the burn areas. The threat of rock falls, mud slides and debris flow is high,” he noted.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP), the National Weather Service and public safety partners will monitor storm activity to ensure Highway 101 remains open to facilitate resident evacuations. If Highway 101 needs to be closed, CHP would do so just prior to the arrival of the intense portion of the storm. Bands of rain, timing, and intensity will guide this decision. Closure information will be communicated broadly to the public as decisions are made. Community members should go to ReadySBC.org for up-to-date information on evacuations and road closures.

 

Source: County of Santa Barbara
March 18, 2018

A Pre-Evacuation Advisory has been continued for the Thomas, Sherpa, Whittier, and Alamo Fire burn areas due to an approaching winter storm forecasted for Tuesday night. This is the time to prepare you and your family for evacuation within the next 48 hours if you live near a burn area in Santa Barbara County.

The National Weather Service forecast there is the potential for a prolonged period of moderate to heavy rainfall with this system, with highest rainfall intensities expected to occur sometime between the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 21 and Thursday, March 22. During this time, rainfall rates will likely exceed USGS thresholds, bring a threat of significant flash flooding and debris flows in recent burn areas. The forecast currently is indicating rainfall rates per hour of .50 to .75 inches. Peak 3 hour rates of 1.00 to 2.00 inches. Total rainfall could be 4.00 to 6.00 inches in the south facing foothills/mountains.

The County, emergency officials and the National Weather Service are closely monitoring the situation and will alert the public with more information as the storm approaches. Impact areas need to prepare for an evacuation for Tuesday night through Thursday.

Public and Private schools will be providing information on closures or relocation sites as the storm get closer.

Debris flows are  predicted in or near creeks and channels. Because this storm is longer duration with total rainfall up to 6 inches in the mountains, mudslides and rockfall in or near the burn areas are possible.

If at any time during this storm, or any storm, anyone feels threatened, action should be taken to leave for high ground or a safe area. Do not wait for a notification. If an individual or family has access or functional needs, or has large animals to move, consider leaving well in advance. For more information on the risk please go to ReadySBC.org. To go directly to the Interactive Debris Flow Risk Areas map, visit ReadySBC.org/StormReadyMap. Please also standby for future updates.


Source: County of Santa Barbara
March 17, 2018

A Pre-Evacuation Advisory has been issued for the areas below the Thomas, Sherpa, Whittier and Alamo fires due to an approaching winter storm forecasted for Tuesday night . This is the time to prepare for evacuation within the next 72 hours for anyone who lives near a burn area in Santa Barbara County.

The National Weather Service forecast indicates there is the potential for a prolonged period of moderate to heavy rainfall with this system, with highest rainfall intensities expected to occur sometime between late Tuesday night, March 20 through early Thursday, March 22. During this time, rainfall rates will likely exceed USGS thresholds and bring the threat of significant flash flooding and debris flows in recent burn areas. The forecast currently is indicating rainfall rates of .5 to .75 inches per hour.

"Based on today's forecast from the National Weather Service, this is the most powerful storm of the season since the 1/9 Debris Flow," said Rob Lewin, director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management.

The County, emergency officials and the National Weather Service are closely monitoring the situation and will alert the public with more information as the storm approaches. Impact areas need to prepare for the possibility of an evacuation for Tuesday through Thursday.

If at any time during this storm,  or any storm, anyone feels threatened, action should be taken to leave for high ground or a safe area. Do not wait for a notification. If an individual or family has access or functional needs,  or has large animals to move, consider leaving well in advance.

For more information on the risk please go to ReadySBC.org. To go directly to the Interactive Debris Flow Risk Areas map, visit ReadySBC.org/StormReadyMap. Please also standby for future updates.

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a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 07:25 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

420722 - People are still capable of facing emergencies if they are outside the mandatory evacuation zones. That happened to many on 1/9. Try to remember that please. These storms aren't 100% predictable and things can and do happen that folks haven't prepared for.

Shasta Guy Mar 20, 2018 06:31 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Well, it's started. After reviewing the 1995 flood reported, link posted below, 1995 has an eery parallel to today. In 1995 there were bad rains and floods in January followed by bad rains and flood in March. I'd pay attention to the rainfall accumulation map: https://rain.cosbpw.net/home.php Look for rainfall and select a time. You'll need to zoom in and navigate to the area you're interested in. If you select a short time frame like an hour, you can get an estimate of the per hour rate. Once that starts going above 0.50"/hr on the ridges then we're entering debris flow conditions. If you select a long time period like 24-48 hrs and the cumulation starts approaching 10", then that will be like 1995. At that amount of rain all the creeks will be roaring. All these links and more are found at SBitZ.net. Let's be snark free, okay, unlike earlier today.

MountainMan4865 Mar 20, 2018 04:51 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

So far, https://www.windy.com/?namConus,950h,34.565,-120.041,9,m:eCDacPv has been the most accurate over the last year for all categories - rain, humidities, wind, temps. It shows the biggest impact late, late Wednesday night into mid Thursday morning.

Flicka Mar 20, 2018 04:46 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

What happened to all the yellow on the map? 23 people died on 1/9, why are commenters saying "No one will die". How do they know? Hopefully not if people pay attention to the warnings for mandatory evacuations. The town was pretty well shut down with the freeway closed.

sacjon Mar 20, 2018 04:49 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Flicka - I think there are 2 maps. 1 just showing the evacuation order zones (all red) and the other showing debris flow risk zones (red and yellow). As for the person who has been saying no one will die and nothing will be shut down, well that is someone I won't name (because if I do, this information I have given you will be deleted apparently) and he/she is either completely ignorant, or just a troll.

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 01:17 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

"Don't leave your pets behind! There are many options for housing & care at no cost. Please call Santa Barbara County Animal Services hotline at 805-681-4332 for information about emergency housing for your animals or if you need emergency evacuation assistance." From County of Santa Barbara.

TWOSCOOPS Mar 20, 2018 01:09 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Doppler radar here: https://www.wunderground.com/wundermap?radar=1 . Delete “Weather Stations” as it makes the page very busy. Keep “Radar”, scroll page down to view Santa Barbara. If you are interested in this storm’s capacity for lightening, you can click “Lightening” to see if it’s wrapped in the clouds over the next few days.

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 12:35 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

To subscribe, and help pay the freight for Edhat, go to: https://www.edhat.com/buy-subscription. It's $5 a month. To send a check: PO Box 3846, Santa Barbara, CA 93130 . Questions about membership: ed@edhat.com.

TWOSCOOPS Mar 20, 2018 11:08 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

2005 La Conchita major mud slide, killed 10 people. Santa Barbara was isolated during that storm, 101 north and south were closed, #154 closed. Wasn't it for a whole week? Please go to the grocery store, just in case. Comfort foods. Pet food. Gas your car. Batteries. I just finished a book I bought at Chaucer's, "Learned Optimism"...

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 12:38 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Maybe you should stay off this site - attacking others is really uncool, I agree that people are getting way over the top anxious. Do what you need to do if you are in a risk zone. Other than that, inducing panic is unhelpful and sending misinformation like "parts of the town were completely shut down" is just unethical and wrong.

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 12:16 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

TWO SCOOPS that seems a little overreactive. While slides likely will happen, the entire town isn't going to shut down. Why scare people? Jeez its rain people, they get way more than this on the east coast regularly. I realize there is real potential for slides and another debris flow, but they've done what they can by issuing the mandatory evacuation order. There is no need to terrify and alarm people. If your power goes out, chances are it won't be all over town. I will be at work so will many others. Don't worry, you won't die!

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 10:48 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

EDHAT - Some people (or just one miserable troll) appear to be downvoting comments that are providing information on this upcoming storm. Please do not allow these to be deleted as we need all the information we can get from our fellow residents.

therealbebe Mar 20, 2018 12:58 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

One other thought, Edhat - if you do insist on keeping this voting system up, maybe make the voters visible. That way we can see who is doing all the ridiculous downvoting. A little accountability would be nice.

therealbebe Mar 20, 2018 12:56 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Thank you for noticing as well. Edhat, I hope you do away with that feature. The miserable trolls downvoting things like FACTS and INFORMATION try to cause those posts to go away. It's indiscriminate and doesn't make any sense. I would subscribe again but this downvoting business has got to go first.

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 09:24 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

SHASTA, your comment on John Wiley's site https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/sbitz , re the 1995 flooding report (by Tom Fayram, btw): "Every creek between Carpinteria and Goleta spilled over its banks, and we didn't have any burn areas then." I would also add that there's more concrete covering earth now than in 1995. Example, Hollister Village concreted over an area that caught and absorbed rain. Now what? We might need water-wings to go shopping at Marketplace. If Edhat gets overloaded during storms next 3 days, I'll look for you at John Wiley's place.

Shasta Guy Mar 20, 2018 07:24 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Here's a link to the County's report on the 1995 flooding. Check out the pictures at the end of the report. https://www.countyofsb.org/uploadedFiles/pwd/Content/Water/1995FloodsRpt.pdf It was absolutely crazy. Basically every creek between Goleta and Carpinteria spilled over its banks. This is what a direct hit from an atmospheric river can do to this area. When I see up to 10" forecast, I think of 1995. We won't know for sure until Wed-Thu.

Shasta Guy Mar 20, 2018 06:48 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Read the 1995 report. There's a map in the picture section that showed where the downtown flooding occurred. Pay attention to the total accumulation on ridge using the link I just posted. If total rain starts approaching 10" then the creeks will be rip roaring. If you're near a creek, pay attention to the water level. In 1995 Mission creek got out of its banks downtown and then streets like Bath and De La Vina became like creeks. The lower west and lower east sides got a lot of water and cars floating down the street. If things start looking like they are going to break loose, I'll post something if I'm away. If this site is bogged down, I'll post at SBitZ.net.

Shasta Guy Mar 20, 2018 06:48 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Read the 1995 report. There's a map in the picture section that showed where the downtown flooding occurred. Pay attention to the total accumulation on ridge using the link I just posted. If total rain starts approaching 10" then the creeks will be rip roaring. If you're near a creek, pay attention to the water level. In 1995 Mission creek got out of its banks downtown and then streets like Bath and De La Vina became like creeks. The lower west and lower east sides got a lot of water and cars floating down the street. If things start looking like they are going to break loose, I'll post something if I'm away. If this site is bogged down, I'll post at SBitZ.net.

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 04:19 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Shasta Guy, this is all very interesting, especially to see how Sycamore Canyon flooded and to think people still want to live there. However, what exactly are we supposed to do here? I live downtown near Mission Creek, and all this is doing is making me feel anxious, rather than simply staying calm and dealing with the situation. All we can really do is assess where we live, make whatever preparations we feel we need to and that is it. All these horror stories about past floods really I don't find very helpful. They just serve to foment fear and anxiety. Be positive.

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 06:24 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Everyone cool out. As per usual, the storm looks like it's going to skirt SB and dump most of its water further north. I think we will get about 3-5 inches, tops. Check the radar, it's doing it's usual push off of SB, so we should be fine. no need for panic or alarm. Further north like SLO, now I wish I was there, looks like they are really going to get some good drenching!

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 04:49 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Doppler predictions/forecasts are not 100% accurate, they are far from fact. I am sure they are overwhelmingly accurate, but what's the point in gambling (no matter how good the odds) when there is no harm in being prepared for the worst in the first place?

a-1524666150 Mar 19, 2018 08:51 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

S.B.Hotel List for evacuees , includes discounts, (from February): https://santabarbaraca.com/content/uploads/2018/03/Storm-Evacuee-Hotel-Rate-List_Updated-2.28.18.pdf

Shasta Guy Mar 19, 2018 05:44 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

This is serious folks. We could even repeat 1/9. If anyone remembers the "March Miracle" from the early 90s, it looks like we may be repeating that. That wreaked havoc all over downtown SB and Goleta. All the tools for tracking this are at the weather links at SBitZ.net. John Wiley and I set up that list so you could access info directly, especially if Edhat become overloaded. Pay attention to the doppler radar, precipitation accumulation maps, and even the wind direction. I am personally fascinated by the 8km animated water vapor map because it shows the "atmospheric river" realtime. If the winds blow due north, we'll get orographic rainfall with heavy precipitation at the high elevations on the ridge. Look at the links and comment here. I absolutely love rain. Being from Northern California, I have been rain deprived here in SB. However, this is too much rain for that state of our burned chaparral.

a-1524666150 Mar 20, 2018 09:11 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

TO: "Where is the grey" at 5:12pm on Mar 19 - The grey area they are referring to are the the burn scars of the recent fires (Sherpa, Whittier, Thomas). I don't think many people live in those areas, but they are considered high risk now. TAGDES makes it sounds as if ALL areas are grey, but it is only those. Hope this helps!

Laxer Mar 19, 2018 05:01 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

I know we are all concerned about the burn area and debris flows, but what flash flooding for unburned creeks? The 2/17/17 storm dropped ~4 inches in a day and Mission Creek (where I live) almost breached its banks. This storm is supposed to be ~2.5 inches in a day, but similar total rainfall. The ground is pretty saturated from the last few storms, which was not the situation last year. All I am seeing from the NWS is "There is the potential that the Flash Flood Watch will need to be expanded to include areas outside of recent burn areas during the peak of the storm system Wednesday night into Thursday." Are we potentially overlooking another disaster by focusing on debris flows?

sacjon Mar 19, 2018 04:38 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Just got a Mandatory Evacuation Order for ALL risk areas - red, yellow and grey. They're not taking this one lightly folks. If you are anywhere near these areas, get ready to leave before it starts!

a-1524666150 Mar 19, 2018 03:46 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Please keep track of what rain you get, and post it on Edhat. I'm going to put a large measuring cup outside. In case power goes out, make sure you have gas in your car, and groceries are stocked up. National Weather Service: https://www.weather.gov/lox/

a-1524666150 Mar 19, 2018 03:40 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Why are comments expressing hope for rain being downvoted? Are we really that sensitive now that it's not PC to want rain? Sorry for the tragedy in Montecito, but like it or not, we as a civilization depend on rainfall.

a-1524666150 Mar 19, 2018 04:13 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Sorry about what happened in Cito, saw the devastation first hand, but sorry that does not equate to we don't want rain and want a drought. I mean, it's not entirely unforseeable that a 100 year event could happen well, in 100 years.

a-1524666150 Mar 19, 2018 03:36 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Flood Watch National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard CA 323 PM PDT Mon Mar 19 2018 ...FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR RECENT BURN AREAS ACROSS SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA... .A large and powerful storm system across the Eastern Pacific is expected to approach the West Coast through Friday. A subtropical fetch of moisture well ahead of the system is expected to bring periods of moderate to heavy rain to portions of Southwest California as early as Tuesday afternoon and continuing through late Thursday or early Friday. Flash flooding and mud and debris flows are likely in and around recent burn areas in the watch area. There is the potential that the Flash Flood Watch will need to be expanded to include areas outside of recent burn areas during the peak of the storm system Wednesday night into Thursday. Rain will likely come to an end behind the cold front sometime late Thursday into early Friday. Storm total rainfall is expected to range from 2 to 5 inches across coastal and valley areas, with 5 to locally 10 inches across the foothills and coastal slopes.

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