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Emergency officials urge Santa Barbara County residents to be aware of potential debris flows

Posted at 2:02 PM, Nov 29, 2018

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management says people near burn areas need to be aware of the changing conditions as rain hits the area Thursday.

The OEM says rain and thunderstorms are expected in the county through 5 p.m. Thursday, and people need to be ready to take action if necessary.

There have been concerns about the potential for debris flows and mudslides in burn scars across the state, especially in the wake of the Montecito mudslides earlier this year.

In January, 21 people were killed when a debris flow swept into Montecito, underneath the Thomas Fire burn scar. Search efforts are still underway for a two-year-old and 17-year-old who were never found.

Experts say the risk of flooding and mudslides can remain for years after a fire.

Santa Barbara County also tweeted about the rain conditions, saying residents near creeks and streams or below burn areas should be proactive. The county said those people should move to safety or shelter in place in the innermost room of their homes.

A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5 to talk about preparing for winter weather in the region. It will be held at the Veterans Memorial Building in Carpinteria at 5:30 p.m. A second meeting will be held on December 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Montecito Union School. Another meeting will be held in Spanish on December 10 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Carpinteria.