Mild showers forecast through Tuesday
Evacuation orders were lifted Sunday morning after a weekend storm poured more than 3 inches of rain onto Santa Barbara.
Evacuation orders were lifted at around 9 a.m. for all of Santa Barbra County.
Officials warned drivers to be wary of standing water and mud on the roads when returning home. Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers said Highway 154 near Lake Cachuma remains closed indefinitely due to a culvert drainage issue.
“We had originally estimated about a week, but now we’re going to say indefinitely,” said Mr. Shivers.
Crews are removing debris from the clogged culvert. Once that job is done they will need to identify and repair any asphalt damage caused by flooding on the roadway.
Mr. Shivers said there was no other major damage to other state roads.
Walter Rubalcava, county transportation engineering manager, said county crews will start cleaning an area of North Jameson Lane near Highway 101 today, but no major damage was sustained by any county surface streets.
Other than a small sinkhole reported near the intersection of West Islay and Castillo streets in Santa Barbara, no major road damage was reported in the city.
On Saturday, Highway 101 was closed after San Ysidro Creek overflowed and flooded the freeway in Montecito at about 10 a.m.
The freeway was shut down in both directions between Milpas Street in Santa Barbara to State Route 150 in Carpinteria.
Southbound 101 was reopened around 4 p.m. and northbound lanes were opened at around 8 p.m.
Mr. Shivers said Caltrans contracted Granite Construction last week to stage pumping trucks, graders, backhoes, sweepers and other equipment in areas prone to flooding, including Patterson Lane.
“We used a local contractor for staging as their equipment was closer. In the next round of storms we will mobilize our own equipment as we did last year,” said Mr. Shivers.
He said Caltrans dispatchers were in operation 24 hours before the Saturday storm and field staff is available “24/7” in District 5, which covers Santa Barbara County.
Tom Fayram, county water resources deputy director, said the county’s debris basins had all been cleared out ahead of Saturday’s storm and will be cleared again this week.
“We were working around the clock those last two days. We finished at around 9:47 p.m. (Friday). Hopefully we don’t have to do that again, It’s very expensive to do but we will if we have to.”
Mr. Fayram said this weekend’s rain sent more large boulders into the basins than small rocks and sediment, and some of those rocks will need to be broken down before they can be safely removed.
National Weather Service meteorologist Keily Delerme said a light low pressure system will drizzle around half-inch to an inch of rain over Santa Barbara County through Tuesday, with high temperatures in the upper 50s along the coast and lower 50s in higher elevations.
The rainfall is not expected to reach debris flow thresholds, Ms. Delerme said.
At around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for a column of air that appeared on NWS radar off the GaviotaCoast.
Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Rorke said the column continued northeast and missed any highly populated areas. It’s not clear whether the air actually formed into a tornado.
A Wireless Infrastructure Association text alert went out to cellphones in the area, some reported receiving texts as far away from the warning area as Santa Barbara.
For the 48-hour period from 8 p.m. Friday through 8 p.m. Sunday, rainfall exceeding 2 inches was recorded at a majority of Santa Barbara Countyrain gauges, including 3.46 inches at the Santa Barbara County Administration Building. Refugio Pass experienced the heaviest rainfall, 5.95 inches over the 48-hour period.
Rainfall at Jameson Lake caused Juncal Dam to spill at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Montecito Water District officials said it was the first spill since 2011 and the lake is now at 100 percent capacity, approximately 5,144 acre-feet. Gibraltar reservoir also was 100 percent capacity.
The Lake Cachuma reservoir, which has almost 40 times the capacity of the other two, held 78,533 acre-feet on Sunday, 40.6 percent of its capacity.
To date, rainfall this water year stands at 141 percent of normal. The water year begins Sept. 1.
Ms. Delerme said another storm system could materialize next weekend, but it is too early to forecast its intensity.