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Powerful Wind Leads Storm Into Santa Barbara

Strong winds led the way for an expected explosive storm tonight in Santa Barbara County.

The NewsChannel 3 First Alert Weather center says before midnight a storm front with driving rain, powerful winds, and possible thunder will move through the county.

Drivers should expect urban street flooding.

Earlier in the day, the Santa Barbara breakwater wall was hammered by ocean waves but rain was still miles away. Winds were strong but no serious problems were reported.

Tree limbs have been coming apart, and twice on the Santa Barbara Mesa, power has gone out.

At the Santa Barbara harbor, sandbags were protecting businesses.

Carson Shevitz, a high school student with a love of boating, used a special device in his phone to track the wind. ” Its a wind meter that I can plug into my phone. It plugs into the microphone jack of any phone and I can see the current wind. I can see the maximum, average and current wind speed,” he said.

Two visitors from Los Angeles were walking near the boats and debating inside activities when the rains hit.

Water resources managers say so far, even with two impressive storms since late October Cachuma Lake is still at a dangerously low 28.5 percent of its overall capacity. A series of storms in December could be the start of a wet winter season and a rebound from the drought crisis.

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