Flood watch remains in place through today
Heavy rain made its return Thursday night and Friday in Santa Barbara County, causing flooding and other trouble for many residents.
Flooding was seen Friday in communities such as Montecito and Santa Barbara. One example was the end of Anacapa Street and Cabrillo Boulevard, where part of a parked car’s bumper was submerged.
According to Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Management, there is a flood watch in place through today as the storm continues to roll through. If you are caught in an area experiencing flooding, move to higher grounds and do not attempt to travel through the water, the office advises.
The National Weather Service forecast predicts about two to four inches of rain throughout the county during this storm.
On Friday, rain levels varied throughout the county. New Cuyama and Santa Ynez saw lower rainfall levels with .43 and .86 inch respectively. Lompoc had 1.03 inches, and the Santa Barbara Airport area reported 2.07 inches.
This storm was warmer than the Jan. 9 storm, which featured almost freezing temperatures.
Temperatures on Friday around Santa Barbara County were reported in the upper 50s for highs while the lows were in the lower 50s.
One of the biggest factors in this specific storm has been the wind. Gusts have been reported to reach around 50 mph. Then the wind stayed consistently between 25 and 40 mph.
Wind alerts were present throughout Friday’s forecast, but the severity is expected to die down throughout the weekend.
The rain has increased the local water supply. As of 8 a.m. Friday, reservoir levels were Gibraltar, 100.5% capacity; Lake Cachuma, 93.6% capacity; Jameson, 100.5% capacity; Twitchell, 52.2% capacity.
On Thursday due to the severity and consistency of these past storms in California, President Joe Biden approved the California Emergency Declaration. This allows for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief. The purpose of this effort is to alleviate storm-related hardship and provide assistance through emergency measures.
Because of the storm, the Guadalupe Union School District sites closed on Friday, but all Santa Maria Joint Union High School District sites and Santa Maria-Bonita School District sites remained open despite the possibility for closure due to the rainfall.
Two disaster centers — Solvang Superior Court and Orcutt Union School District Disaster Loan Outreach Center — were closed on Friday but are expected to reopen again.
The Solvang Superior Court is scheduled to open at 9 this morning, and the Orcutt Union School District Disaster Loan Outreach Center will reopen at 9 a.m. Monday. People are encouraged to visit these centers if they need information on how to prepare, recover or need help with long-term resilience due to the impact of these storms.
To file for assistance, register at www.disasterassistance.gov.
On Tuesday, another storm is expected to make its way through the Central Coast.