Santa Barbara County warming shelters set up for this week's heavy rainfall

Dec 1, 2014

Infrared satellite image of the West Coast taken Monday evening.
Credit National Weather Service

Tuesday and Wednesday could see the strongest storm to hit the Central Coast since a Pacific storm last March slammed into the area.

The bulk of the rainfall is expected to take place from Tuesday afternoon into the evening hours, with up to five inches of rain possible along the local foothills and mountains.

Maria Long is organizing warming shelters to bring people out of the wet and cold this week, through her organization, Freedom Warming Centers.

"There is a huge discrepancy in Santa Barbara between of very wealthy and the very, very poor who can't afford to live here, and the lack of actually affordable housing," said Long. "We do our work very quietly, very silently, and so many people wouldn't know we're there as we're doing this very important work."

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say there is the potential for a two-to-three hour burst of heavy rainfall Tuesday afternoon with rates of a half-inch per hour. This much water all at once could also trigger mud slides and flash flooding in areas where large wildfires have burned in recent years.

Information Hotline: 805-324-2372

Locations include:

Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara
1525 Santa Barbara St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

First Congregational Church
2101 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Peace Lutheran
1000 W. Ocean Ave.
Lompoc, CA 93436

Salvation Army
200 W. Cook St. 
Santa Maria, CA 93454