The Recommended Evacuation Warning remains in place for the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa Fire burn areas along the Santa Barbara County south coast (in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria). A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for these areas beginning at 9 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, March 1 to 9 a.m. Friday, March 2.
The current forecast from the National Weather Service indicates that the heaviest rainfall is now predicted to arrive around midnight Thursday and will continue for a 6-hour period into Friday. Total expected rainfall for this storm is 1 inch for the coastal areas and 1.5 to 3 inches for the foothills and mountains. Rain intensities are predicted to be between 0.33 inches and 0.5 inches per hour. The threshold for a debris flow is 0.5 inches per hour or greater. Therefore, no Mandatory Evacuation Order is being issued tonight (Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018).
Public safety officials are continuously evaluating weather predictions and may issue a Mandatory Evacuation Order tomorrow morning (Thursday, March 1) if warranted. At rainfall rates of 0.33 to 0.5 inches per hour, people near streams and channels could be threatened by debris flows.
According to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office, “If at any time people feel threatened, take immediate action. Do not wait for a notification. Those with access and functional needs and those with large animals should leave during this Recommended Evacuation Warning period.”
School districts will contact families through their established communication channels regarding any possible school closures.
Community members are encouraged to go to ReadySBC.org for up-to-date information on evacuations and road closures.