GOLETA - A steady schedule of creek clearing projects has been underway since August in Santa Barbara County prior to the upcoming rainy season.
It is still anyone's guess what kind of winter we will have. One credible analyst says it will be dry through the end of the year.
A small weather system with rain passes through Wednesday. It is not expected to produce any runoff to make creeks a concern.
Residents from Carpinteria to Goleta have been seeing heavy equipment in and around the creeks to clear out anything that would block the flow of water from the mountains to the beaches.
Every creek has a different dynamic. The Montecito area creeks are of a particular concern because they are in the Thomas Fire (2017) mudflow zone. New maps showing flood runoff risks in the area will be out in December.
Santa Barbara County Water Resources Deputy Director Tom Fayram said the ongoing work, "includes removing vegetation, removing sediment from the Goleta slough by the Santa Barbara airport , removing material from Montecito which has been a non stop process for the last couple of years."
He says it does not have to be a big storm to be a dangerous one.
"Last year while it was above normal rainfall year there weren't any large storms to point to but we spent more than 4-million dollars digging out the channels of Montecito on a not that big of a rain story just because of the scar of the fire and the sediment delivery that comes from that."
The county is prepared for residents who need sandbags. They will be able to use the self serve site at the county yard just past the Sheriff's headquarters beginning Tuesday.
For more information go to : https://www.countyofsb.org/pwd/sandbag.sbc