Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

120 Comments
Reads 33117

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.

Login to add Comments

120 Comments

Toggle Comments (Show)
Shasta Guy Mar 22, 2018 05:41 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

I think it more like surviving Russian Roulette and then calling it a near miss. We were so lucky. The main track of the precipitation skirted SB-Montecito just to our west, and primarily went over Lompoc-Santa Maria. Had the trajectory went over us...really bad. It was impossible to know where the atmospheric river was going to make its direct hit. I ended up with close to 8" of rain in my backyard bucket over the course of the storm. What this event did do was give us a big clue as to how our ridge can take before slumping mud into our neighborhoods.

tagdes Mar 24, 2018 12:55 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Is your bucket the same diameter on the top and bottom or did you use the formula for calculating using both radii. No where else in the county got more than a few hundredths over 5''.

AuntieA Mar 23, 2018 09:32 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

SHASTA GUY, i don't know how long you've lived here but this is what usually happens here as I've posted before. The storms tend to skirt us, and weather folks can explain it to you maybe. I appreciated your reports but your incitement of anxiety and panic were not appreciated.

Shasta Guy Mar 22, 2018 07:33 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

I share your HOORAY! now. I am happy for the rain, and I am happy that the ridge kept itself intact. Many friends and coworkers were badly affected on 1/9, and I my enthusiasm was in reserve until I knew everyone would be safe. The danger was very real and thankfully it did not materialize. Where I come from, a normal rain year is 40", and I've have always been rain deprived in this town. The Cachuma Lake water shed got a lot of rain, and if you go to the hydrology section of the weather links at SBitZ.net, you can see the level rising at Cachuma. Select the rainfall link, then reservoir levels, then the little green dot where Lake Cachuma is and you'll see a wonderful hockey stick plot with all the rain flowing in.

Yeti Mar 22, 2018 04:46 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

HOORAY! Another non-event and a lot of rain too. Absolutely great news for everyone. I hope that we can repeat this in a couple of weeks and pick up another 3 inches of badly needed rain. It was so funny listening to the media freaking out and talking about "boulders washing down the creeks".. Wow, the doom and gloom was just absolute BS. Guess they can't pay their bills unless they scare people into paying attention to them. Thank you Roger for keeping us all informed! You are appreciated.

Westley Mar 23, 2018 09:48 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

I agree YETI. The negativity was too much. May I suggest Twitter - I found lots of scanner feeds and great people providing only facts, not panic. I'm finding when I stay off here, my outlook and attitude are much better. It's been taken over by fear peddlers.

AuntieA Mar 23, 2018 09:31 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Could not agree with you more YETI. All those peddling fear and panic should be eating crow. Living near a creek myself I definitely did not appreciate it, and had to step away - instead, following weather and monitoring the creek and it was even lower than it was during storms last year.

Shasta Guy Mar 21, 2018 06:33 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Everything seems to have made it through the day intact, but the serious action probably will happen tonight. The ridges above Montecito are approaching 3", and it looks like we're getting good accumulation in the Cachuma watershed. My impromptu rain gauge near the Mission had between 3-4" when I got home. An interesting link was posted at SBitZ.net earlier that discusses the rainfall potential tonight. This is in the "Atmospheric River" discussion thread posted by the handle Section Make8R. It's a NWS website I've never seen before. http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/metwatch/metwatch_mpd_multi.php?md=0067&yr=2018 You can go there directly or paste it into your browser.

TWOSCOOPS Mar 21, 2018 01:58 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

"I'm so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here." Willie Nelson sang that. That's how I'm feeling about right now, about flooding and debris flows and getting rid of that so we can get back to wildfires.

a-1524665731 Mar 21, 2018 01:43 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Station 13 covers from the ocean to PARADISE RD! They go over the pass on calls. I'm not sure how far they go in the other direction, maybe a bit beyond #154 to Patterson? I really respect them. They seem to be ready to respond to any calls. We in the Noleta flatlands are lucky to have station 13 just minutes away. Here's County S.B. fire twitter: https://twitter.com/SBCFireDispatch

a-1524665731 Mar 21, 2018 12:46 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Noleta is between Santa Barbara and Goleta; with a Santa Barbara address, basically same as Hope Ranch, 93110 and 93111. From #154 to just before Patterson, from ocean to hills above Cathedral Oaks. Noleta flatlands, everything around San Marcos High School area, Hollister/Turnpike - it puts the "v" in Goleta Valley, low area on Hollister. It begins a slight rise right next to County of S.B. fire station #13 (the workhorse station for a huge huge area).

Fitness1 Mar 21, 2018 12:22 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

twitter says debris flow/rocks across road in Wheeler Springs area, and 101 flooded near Seacliff. Also rain just picked up here (just North of Santa Maria) and coming down very hard again.

a-1524665731 Mar 21, 2018 10:06 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Thanks for the ham radio twitter, very helpful and interesting. These are my favs: Edat/Roger is first, then @AI6YRham, http://cad.chp.ca.gov/Traffic.aspx, https://twitter.com/805Weather, J ohn Wiley (Shasta Guy hosted there) https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/sbitz

a-1524665731 Mar 21, 2018 09:50 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Just read a tweet from a ham radio operator that fire units heard large boulders in Montecito Creek starting to move. Also that CHP shut down Highway 33 at Fairview due to debris flow.

a-1524665731 Mar 21, 2018 09:40 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

CHP website, Buellton and Santa Maria are on the San Luis Obispo link. Check CHP often, because the incidents are reported and then after a period of time, they are removed, allowing for more incidents. To my knowledge, you can't scroll down for archive. Flooding in various areas right now on #101.

a-1524665731 Mar 21, 2018 09:06 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Correction, not 1" (my better half was kidding). Noleta, near Turnpike/Hollister. Can someone give an accurate reading of rain amount in Noleta flatlands? Thank you.

a-1524665731 Mar 21, 2018 08:56 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Heavy rain, Noleta near Turnpike/Hollister. In last 18 hours we've had 1" rain. Thank you for letting us know the conditions where you all are. Helpful, and reassuring. Lots of information on CHP website. Go to "San Luis Obispo", lots of flooding there and road closures. SLO also covers #154/Lake Cachuma. For Santa Barbara/Goleta/Carpinteria, go to "Ventura". http://cad.chp.ca.gov/Traffic.aspx

Fitness1 Mar 21, 2018 07:51 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Update from North County: HARD rain coming down this morning starting around 7:30! Was steady all night but now very very intense! Still maintaining the intensity at 7:51 and shows no signs of letting up.

Shasta Guy Mar 21, 2018 06:16 AM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

It was pretty mellow overnight. Just under an 1" of accumulation on the ridge behind Montecito in the Thomas Burn area. The 8km water vapor map shows that we'll be getting a lot of precipitation today:. Here's the 16km animated water vapor map: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/nepac/h5-loop-wv.html The width of the "Atmospheric River" goes from the Bay Area to Northern Baja, so a widespread area is going to experience it. You can see how it draws moisture from the south. It looks like we'll have a barrage of storms throughout the day. I don't post during the workday, so be safe and my weather links are posted in threads below if you need them.

therealbebe Mar 20, 2018 08:10 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

Here in Solvang we saw a few periods of heavier rain. Mainly it is steady. Follow the radar maps and you will see that some significant rain will be overnight tonight (here, at least), with the most significant/dangerous beginning tomorrow near the evening commute time and continuing into the late hours.

420722 Mar 20, 2018 10:15 PM
Mandatory Evacuations Lifted for Santa Barbara County

The update is about the mandatory evacuation area so naturally I was talking about the mandatory evacuation area. Not once did I say outside the area, unprepared folks or storm predictability..

Pages

Please Login or Register to comment on this.