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Emergency managers say rainfall rates likely will not cause debris flows

Posted at 4:26 AM, Feb 04, 2019

Rain and winds continue to pound the Central and South coasts Monday morning. However, emergency managers say the conditions are not likely to cause debris flows in recent burn areas.

Monday morning, Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management issued a tweet saying peak rainfall rates during the latest round of rain are below the thresholds for debris flows in recent burn areas.

National Weather Service forecasters have advised emergency managers that rainfall rates will be between a quarter to half inch per hour during Monday’s storm. The heaviest rain is expected between 6-11 a.m.

People living near the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa fire burn areas were evacuated Friday night ahead of forecast heavy rain Saturday morning. While significant debris flows did not occur, Santa Barbara and Montecito experienced urban flooding issues and Highway 101 was shut down due to mud and water across the roadway.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office lifted the evacuation orders Sunday morning. The Sheriff’s Office has asked residents to be vigilant of conditions and prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice, if more severe weather returns.

You can sign up for emergency alerts from county officials here.