Over 30,000 Urged to Flee as ‘Strongest Storm of the Year’ Barrels Toward Burn Areas in Santa Barbara, Ventura Counties

Authorities ordered more than 30,000 Santa Barbara County residents and workers, and about 2,400 Ventura County residents to flee their homes Tuesday afternoon as a massive storm lumbered out of the eastern Pacific Ocean and plotted a collision course with Southern California's fragile, fire-scarred coast.

Browning Allen packs up his truck to leave the mandatory evacuation zone in Carpinteria, as a storm, forecast to be the biggest of the season, approaches on March 20, 2018. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Browning Allen packs up his truck to leave the mandatory evacuation zone in Carpinteria, as a storm, forecast to be the biggest of the season, approaches on March 20, 2018. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The storm — a bloated atmospheric river of tropical moisture known as a "pineapple express" — should make landfall Tuesday night. By Friday, the system is predicted to dump 3 to 6 inches of rain along the coast and up to 10 inches in the mountains and foothills above Montecito, Carpinteria and Ojai.

"Right now … it's taking a bull's-eye shot at Santa Barbara County, the Thomas fire and Ventura County," said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service.

Of the 30,000 people ordered to flee Santa Barbara County, 21,000 are residents, according to spokeswoman Amber Anderson. The remaining 9,000 are people who work in the area during the day, she said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.