Evacuation orders were issued Wednesday for the burn scar areas of the Thomas, Alisal and Cave fires as Santa Barbara County braced for a heavy storm and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch.
The orders affected the entire Alisal burn scar and specific parcels in the vulnerable sections of the Cave and Thomas scars.
The South County evacuation center opened up at the Wake Center at 300 N. Turnpike Road, Santa Barbara. And on Wednesday, Santa Barbara County Animal Services was prepared to take in small animals during the evacuations, and large animals could be taken to Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara. (For more about animal evacuations, call Animal Services at 805-681-4332 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or, after hours at 805-683-2724.)
The National Weather Service on Wednesday estimated that 4 to 8 inches of rain could fall within a 24-hour period in Santa Barbara County, with some areas getting as much as 10 inches.
The heaviest amount of rain was expected to fall between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 5 a.m. Thursday. The most intense downpours were predicted to happen between midnight and 3 a.m.
Sheriff Bill Brown said the county would also likely be dealing with winds as fast as 50 to 60 mph on Wednesday night. He told reporters during a news conference Wednesday afternoon that there was concern about the saturation of the soil, the potential of trees coming down and the potential for increased rainfall in the foothill communities.
For more information, see Thursday’s News-Press.
And for the latest on Santa Barbara County’s response to storms, see readysbc.org. You can also get information by dialing 2-1-1.