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Santa Barbara County storm evacuation orders lifted

Santa Barbara County storm evacuation orders lifted

"Each storm since the 1/9 Debris Flow adds to our understanding and ability to make decisions to keep residents safe, evacuate residents only when necessary, and return residents home as soon as possible", said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

As of Monday afternoon, rainfall was expected late Monday night into Tuesday, with another storm predicted for Wednesday into Thursday, and a third Friday into Saturday. As an abundance of caution, they put mandatory evacuations into effect twice since then, but just as quickly they are lifted when conditions allow. In addition, the online interactive Debris Flow Risk Map now shows changes to the risk areas from Extreme Risk to High Risk in the city of Carpinteria based on that city's staff analysis.

The move came as the National Weather Service cancelled flash-flood watches for communities near wildfire burn scars.

Rain is falling on the south coast of Santa Barbara County where some residents have been urged to leave due to potential for debris flows.

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Several Santa Barbara County communities that were scorched in the Thomas, Whittier, Sherpa and Alamo burn areas were under mandatory evacuation orders early Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Santa Barbara County officials issued an evacuation order for areas designated as being at extreme risk and recommended evacuations for other areas.

The strongest rain from those systems is expected to be between 7 a.m.to 1 p.m. Tuesday, according to Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service. Those officials advised that "people with access and functional needs or large animals living in high risk (yellow) areas should consider immediate evacuation".

A voluntary evacuation order is in effect in neighbouring Ventura County for areas north of Ojai Valley.