Santa Barbara County says evacuation orders were a success, but damage and threats remain
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has canceled all evacuation orders from Monday’s massive storm. But, the department said local communities may not be out of the woods yet.
Rescue personnel are navigating the aftermath of record rainfall that caused widespread flooding, debris flows and property damage in Santa Barbara County.
“We're dealing with over a hundred cars that have been abandoned due to the high waters and people trying to drive through them,” Santa Barbara County Fire Department Public Information Officer Scott Safechuck said.
On Monday and Tuesday morning, officials were especially focused on evacuating Montecito, where a deadly mudslide occurred exactly five years ago. According to Safechuck, the evacuation there was a success.
“People evacuated the area as directed,” Safechuck said.
He also said flood control equipment reduced the likelihood of another catastrophic debris flow in Montecito.
“It kept a lot of that debris that came down from record amount of rains from going into those neighborhoods or clogging those creeks and causing catastrophic damage,” Safechuck said.
Throughout the entire county, officials are assessing the extent of the storm’s damage. Although the worst of it has likely passed, Safechuck said he urges residents to pay attention to local media alerts.
“We’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to the storm activity,” Safechuck said. “We could still be presented with more rain here through the weekend.”
Residents with any questions about the storm are encouraged to contact the SB County Office of Emergency Management. The county’s emergency response website is readysbc.org.