The National Weather Service issued a Flood Watch throughout Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, and highlighted the impacts:
"Significant flash flooding and debris flows are possible, especially in and below the Alisal burn scar. Excessive runoff may result in flooding of creeks, streams, and urban areas. While the risk of main stem river flooding is low, water flowing through normally dry rivers may be a threat to some homeless communities."Click here for the full NWS report.
As for the Thomas Fire burn scar, Montecito Fire Protection District issued a Weather Advisory for the area and for Montecito in general as heavy rain, strong winds and high surf expect to start Wednesday.
Montecito Fire said during a Weather Advisory, community members are urged to:
- Monitor the weather.
- Plan how to get out and where you might go.
- Prepare and protect your home.
To help community members prepare, Montecito Fire provided an interactive Storm Impact Consideration Map, available through montecitofire.com.
The department said that as of Tuesday afternoon, the local watershed and flood control systems have been able to handle the runoff properly and are prepared to manage the incoming rain.
However, Montecito Fire said it remains imperative for community members to monitor the weather closely and be prepared for changing conditions that may require evacuation.
Montecito Fire said that along with the Santa Barbara City Fire Department and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, it will have extra personnel on duty in preparation for and throughout the duration of the storm to monitor the status of the watershed and drainage systems to ensure community safety, along with its partners from Santa Barbara County Flood Control.
Furthermore, the department said sand and sandbags are available to residents at Lower Manning Park, located at 449 San Ysidro Road.
The incoming storm might produce four to eight inches of rain on south facing slopes, which also includes the area of the Cave Fire burn scar within the Santa Ynez Mountains according to Kelsey Gerckens, Santa Barbara County Public Information Officer.
Gerckens listed the following pointers for residents during the storm:
Before the rain:
- If you live in the Alisal, Cave or Thomas burn area and are concerned that this storm may cause unsafe conditions to your home, leave the area before rain starts. Do not wait for an official evacuation notification to leave.
- Sandbags and information about protecting your home from flooding can be found here: www.readysbc.org/576/Storm-Readiness
- If you feel unsafe during the rainfall, shelter in place in your home by gathering your family and pets in the inner most room of your house, preferably on the top floor if you live in a multi-story home.
- Do not attempt to drive at night or while it is raining, as roads may be damaged and your car may be swept away by moving water or debris.
After the rain:
- Following a storm, County Public Works cannot guarantee immediate access in or out of the area to residents along county roads.
- Crews will clear roads of mud and rock slides when it is safe to do so.
- Residents must be prepared to stay in or away from their home for multiple days during and after rain events.