The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has ordered about 3,000 residents to evacuate ahead of a new storm expected to hit areas scarred by wildfires, including parts of Montecito hit by a disastrous debris flow just over a year ago.
Residents of risk areas below the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa fire burn scars were told to leave their homes by 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Sheriff Bill Brown told a press conference Monday that the storm is expected to be more intense than the last several storms.
Around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, residents began spotting intense lighting in Santa Barbara. County fire officials shared dramatic photos on Twitter.
— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) March 6, 2019
Peak rainfall was expected to hit in the early morning hours of Wednesday, between 2 and 6 a.m.
A map published by the county Office of Emergency Management indicates that much of Montecito is at risk.
A January 2018 debris flow from the Thomas fire scar destroyed or damaged hundreds of Montecito structures, killed 21 people and left two others missing.
Rain will continue through tomorrow! Expected rainfall amounts between 1-3" for #SLOCounty & #VTUCounty, 2-4" for #SBACounty, 0.75-1.5" for #LACounty! Amounts could be higher in areas where thunderstorms develop! #SoCal #LArain #CAwx #LAweather pic.twitter.com/5u8rGaW6tS
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) March 5, 2019