Flash flood watch canceled for Central Coast, evacuation orders lifted

Flash flood watch canceled for Central Coast, evacuation orders lifted

Residents who live near the site of a deadly January mudslide in Southern California were ordered to evacuate yet again Monday night amid fears that an incoming storm system could trigger more unsafe debris flows.

Lessons learned from recent storms are helping Santa Barbara County prepare for upcoming rain events, including refining evacuation plans for the Extreme and High Risk areas. Those in the mandatory evacuation area must relocate by 8 p.m. tonight. Residents in that zone aren't under orders to leave, but are at risk for flooding or being cut off from services.

Communities affected are near the Thomas, Whittier, Sherpa and Alamo fire burn areas.

For future storms, including those expected to arrive later this week, the County will now take into account several factors to determine if only the Extreme Risk area, noted as red in the Debris Flow Risk Map, should be evacuated, or if both the red Extreme and yellow High risk areas should be evacuated. Now forecasters anticipate that rainfall between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesday could reach rates of.3 to.5 inches per hour, with some potential for short periods of up to.7 inches per hour.

A news conference is scheduled for Monday afternoon to provide more details.

The county ordered evacuations for both areas during the March 2 storm, but chose to issue mandatory evacuation orders only for the extreme risk areas - which are closer to creeks and other water courses - for the Tuesday morning storm.

A recommended evacuation warning is in effect for a wider area.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

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