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Central Coast could see major flooding, power outages and more as winter storm returns

evac warnings sb county jan 9
A map of the areas in Santa Barbara County under an evacuation warning.

Heavy weather is hitting the Central Coast, leading local governments and agencies to put advisories and warnings into place across the area.

Parts of Santa Barbara County are under an evacuation warning this morning. While it is not a mandatory evacuation order, the county is asking residents in certain areas to be prepared to leave.

The warning covers certain properties and areas near burn scars from past wildfires: the Alisal Fire west of Goleta, the Thomas Fire in Montecito, and the Cave Fire in the Santa Ynez Mountains.

The county said the intense storm returning to the area is creating a risk for flooding and debris flow, endangering people and property.

Santa Barbara County’s emergency website has a map of the areas under the warning, along with other resources and instructions.

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SLO County/Twitter
SLO County has a list of places to buy sandbags ahead of rain events online at

Both Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County are under a flood advisory this morning.

In SLO County, the National Weather Service (NWS) said areas likely to see flooding include San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, Atascadero and Highway 101 over the Cuesta Grade.

The NWS said the county could see up to four inches of rain today and tomorrow. The area is also under a high wind warning in effect until 10p.m. tonight.

To find dispatch numbers, hotlines, warming centers, where to find sandbags and more, visit for SLO County, for Santa Barbara County or Monterey County’s emergency preparedness website.

For information on local highway conditions, visit CalTrans District 5’s website or Twitter. Local weather conditions are online at the National Weather Service website,

In case of power outages, Pacific Gas & Electric has an interactive map of outages in their service area, including the Central Coast.

Benjamin Purper came to KCBX in May of 2021 from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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