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Large trees topple in the wind closing Highway 101 and taking out power lines in several areas

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - High winds are roaring through Santa Barbara County after a very wet night, and that's led to power outages and many trees down.

The biggest impact was a Eucalyptus tree, estimated at over 40 feet tall, crashing down on the northbound lanes of Highway 101 near the Earl Warren Showgrounds. Traffic was stopped.  Some cars were hit by branches.  Drivers turned around and went against the grain to go off the on ramps.

Cal Trans, the California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara Police and Santa Barbara City Fire responded.
Workers with chain saws took on the task of carving up the tree and it took about an hour to open the lanes.

Nearby on McCaw near the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course, power lines came down, knocking out power for several blocks.

Lines were also ripped out in the area of Sycamore Canyon in Montecito with a closure at Ashley.

There's also been small rock and mudslides on Mission Ridge Road on the Santa Barbara Riviera.

In the overnight hours heavy rain came through to wrap up a week of intense weather.  At times the rainfall flooded streets over the curbs including portions of Salinas and in the Funk Zone.

With a week of unusual weather including low elevation snow and a iced-over bridge it's becoming a weather memory.
"It's Santa Barbara, it's very magical especially for the kids," said Amanda Mazza on State St. downtown. 

She's from Canada and has seen plenty of snow but she didn't want to drive in it, especially last Friday when harsh weather hit.
"I was debating what to do. I don't like being stuck in that traffic and I knew if the I-5 was closed we were going to be in a mess  on the 101 so I needed a sign what to do and we got that notification that there was going to be a flood  warning,  not to leave," said Mazza.  "I saw your post on how bad the traffic was I would have been stuck in it for a long time so we stayed home and played games and enjoyed it.  I was really glad I didn't drive."

With the blustery blast that has been coming through it has kept many people inside and business owners will tell you they want more sunshine to bring people out.

The stores are stocked downtown and employees say they are ready when the customers venture out again.

Jordan Tabor works at the Rever Atelier women's clothing store on State at De la Guerra.  She was out in front of the store and said,  "I feel like when it's sunny people are just on State Street to be on State and happen to shop and they will see more stuff and say I want to buy that."

The store's sliding front doors are only partly open because of the weather.

"When it has been raining and like windy  a lot of  the leaves come in  and we have to close it  but when it's  open people walk by and see the store and see what we have and come in."

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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