Storm coming to Central Coast, evacuations ordered in Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County areas at risk of debris flow are shown in red.

A large storm is expected to hit the Central Coast Tuesday, prompting fresh evacuation orders in areas burned by recent Santa Barbara County fires.

The approaching storm is powered by an atmospheric river, which is concentrated moisture in the atmosphere that can increase rainfall. PG&E’s John Lindsey forecast between two and four inches of rain spanning Tuesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon. The storm could also produce gusting wind. 

Santa Barbara County officials have ordered residents who live in the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa fire burn areas to evacuate by 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Some school closures are also in effect.

An evacuation order map published by the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management shows several areas in Montecito are again at risk of debris flows.

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