Santa Barbara Officials Recommend Evacuations Before Winter Storm

Feb 28, 2018

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Officials in Santa Barbara County are advising citizens in parts of the city to evacuate before a winter storm hits the area on Thursday.

Residents of Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria were urged by the Sheriff’s Office to evacuate by 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Santa Barbara area is still recovering from the extreme wildfires that recently ripped through the city in December and early January, so the region is prone to mudslides following storms. Thursday’s storm system is expected to go right over the mountain areas scarred by the fires. The county’s warning said “high risk for loss of life and property exists.”

Meteorologists predict as much as one-third to two-thirds of an inch of rain per hour through Friday. As of now, the evacuations are not mandatory, but residents were strongly urged to leave the area for their own safety.

Following the fires in early January, the region saw mudslides, which devastated neighborhoods and killed 21 people. Two people remain missing.

Officials said they would release more evacuation details later today. To see which neighborhoods are most at risk, use this interactive map created by Santa Barbara County.

Feature photo: Firefighters from Long Beach Fire Urban Search and Rescue begin their patrol on Channel Drive in front of the Four Seasons Biltmore January 11, 2018 after a rainstorm sent mud and debris through Montecito neighborhoods. (Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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