Southern California Evacuations Lifted After Mudslide Threat Wanes

Southern California Evacuations Lifted After Mudslide Threat Wanes

Southern California Evacuations Lifted After Mudslide Threat Wanes

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A recommended evacuation warning is in effect for a wider area.

Most of the rain from this storm is expected to fall on Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

Stuart Seto, weather specialist with the National Weather Service, indicated that the weather service may issue flash flood watches in the county depending on the conditions leading up the storms. Officials advise those with "access and functional needs" or people with large animals living in High Risk (yellow) areas to consider immediate evacuation. However, those evacuation orders were lifted at 10:30 a.m.

Perhaps the coldest and strongest of the three storms is forecast to hit Southern California Friday through Saturday.

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The incoming storm also prompted voluntary evacuations for neighborhoods in Matilija Canyon and the North Fork area, north of Ojai in Ventura County.

Several factors will be taken into account when determining evacuation plans, officials noted, including projected amount and intensity of rainfall; capacity of debris basins and creek channels at the time of a predicted storm; status of potential obstructions that can change the direction of water flow; the level of ground saturation; and the risk of damage to basic utilities.

Evacuations have been ordered or recommended in two Southern California counties due to an approaching storm that could bring enough rain to trigger debris flows.

The evacuation orders impacted the burn scars of the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa fires, which left large swaths of land scorched and unable to handle heavy rainfall at rates of more than a half-inch per hour.

The National Weather System says the storm, which was at one point expected to drop up to.70 inches of rain per hour, is now expected to drop less than 0.25 inches of rain per hour, well below the threshold for debris flows.

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