SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – Santa Barbara County officials announced evacuation orders for areas within the Thomas Fire, Alisal Fire and Cave Fire burn scars at a Wednesday afternoon press conference amid an anticipated heavy rainstorm.
The storm will begin at 10 p.m. on Wednesday night.
The most intense rain is anticipated overnight Wednesday between midnight and 3 a.m. for Santa Barbara County.
From San Luis Obispo to Ventura counties, heavy rain is anticipated from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
County officials are concerned with the potential of flooding, high winds that can take down trees, and heavy rainfall after recent consecutive rainy days.
Currently, there are no active roadway closures due to the storm according to California Highway Patrol.
Santa Barbara County issued the following information to help residents prepare for the storm:
- Do not attempt to drive while it is dark or raining as roads may be damaged and your car may be swept away by moving water or debris.
- Strong winds are also expected, which can cause debris to fall onto roadways and power outages.
- BE PREPARED to sustain yourself and your household for multiple days if you choose not to evacuate, as you may not be able to leave the area and emergency responders may not be able to access your property in the event of road damage, flooding, or a debris flow.
- For Evacuation Center information, contact the American Red Cross at 805-678-3073.
- For animal evacuation information, call Santa Barbara County Animal Services at (805) 681-4332, Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm.
- If you need animal evacuation support outside those hours, please call the County Animal Services after-hours phone line at (805) 683-2724.
"We live in this beautiful place and there are some consequences of living in this beautiful place, and that is that we have this risk," said Das Williams, Santa Barbara County Supervisor. "And I am urging folks to comply with the evacuation."
On Wednesday morning, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency for the storm.
“California is mobilizing to keep people safe from the impacts of the incoming storm," said Governor Newsom. "This state of emergency will allow the state to respond quickly as the storm develops and support local officials in their ongoing response.”
Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming storm.