Alene Tchekmedyian’s LA times article “Storm triggers evacuations in Santa Barbara County: 'Don't be fooled into thinking that this can’t happen again',” warns of the deadly potential of mudslides following the devastation that occurred in January that caused 21 fatalities and damaged homes in Montecito.
Debris flow could be triggered by rainfall rates predicted to exceed half and inch per hour. In some areas as much as seven-tenths of an inch of rain per hour are possible because of a chance of thunderstorms.
Mandatory evacuations began Monday to protect residents from the fast-moving storm that is predicted to be worse than January’s. Santa Barbara county officials asked that people help spread the word of the evacuation to everyone in their community. They also created an interactive map to help residents determine their risk level.
Matilija Canyon and North Fork in Ventura County are under voluntary evacuation orders. Areas at the highest risk include Thomas, Sherpa, and Whittier burn areas. Residents can find shelter at the Goleta Valley Community Center at 5679 Hollister Avenue.