OJAI (CBSLA) — A storm that authorities feared would cause another mudslide in burn areas passed through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties without causing any major damage.
The biggest impact Thursday’s storm had on the burn-scarred areas was in Ojai, where hillsides gave way and dumped mud and debris on Highway 33. The roadway was closed at Fairview Road at about 4:30 a.m.
Moderate to occasionally heavy rain started falling overnight on Southern California, where communities recently devastated by mudslides prepared again for possible mud and debris flows.
The National Weather Service forecast storm would produce between a half-inch and an inch of rain along the coast and in valley areas, and between two and three inches of rain in the mountains. Flash flood watches were in effect in the foothills of Los Angeles and in Santa Barbara County, but the watch was canceled in Montecito just before 7 a.m.
Portions of Ojai was placed under a voluntary evacuation order Thursday night. According to the CHP, the road will remain closed through at least 6 p.m.
In Montecito, as many as 87 percent of residents are believed to have obeyed mandatory evacuation orders, compared to the 10 to 15 percent that complied ahead of a deadly mudslide on Jan. 9. Those evacuation orders were lifted as of 9:30 a.m.
Highway 101 — which was closed after the January mudslide for nearly two weeks to be cleaned of mud, abandoned cars, boulders and other debris — remained open. Authorities were kept on standby to close the highway at a moment’s notice.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)