SANTA BARBARA COUNTY (CBSLA) – The Alisal Fire burn scar, already the lasting memory of a fire that tore through California in 2021, burning nearly 17,000 acres during most of the month of October, continues to plague residents of Santa Barbara County, who now prepare for mudslides, flash floods and debris flow that may come from the area as a winter storm hits the area.
Rain has been falling steadily since around 5:30 p.m. in the area, with water beginning to pool in various areas of streets and sidewalks. A steady rain turned into a heavy downpour around 10:30 p.m., continuing through the midnight hour; it is predicted to persevere through Tuesday morning.READ MORE: Authorities Searching For Missing Teen Girl Allegedly Taken By Her Mother
Persistent rain is exactly what officials were concerned about, as too much rain too quickly could add up, leading to mudslides and flash floods.
Evacuations in the region were issued on Monday afternoon, especially those living closest to the Alisal Fire burn scar – a number that totals anywhere from 500 to 1000 residents.
An evacuation center is available for residents in Goleta, but as of 9:00 p.m. no residents were present, as most appeared to be taking sanctuary elsewhere. An unfortunate reality for residents is how to prepare for these incidents, as fires, followed by burn scars, have plagued the region for years.READ MORE: Woman Details Encounter With Man Accused Of Killing Brianna Kupfer
Officials have already issued a Flash Flood Watch, but with the steady downpour of rain, they indicated that it could become a Flash Flood Warning as early as Tuesday morning.
Raquel Zick, with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, told CBSLA reporters that these preparations come with the territory, “this is kind of an ongoing thing that we’ve encountered in the past. We’ve been through the fire, then the rainfall and floods that come afterwards. So you know, we are cautious in that regard and also well practiced.”
The big difference between a Flash Flood Watch versus a Flash Flood Warning is that in a warning, flooding is imminent.MORE NEWS: Police Getting Additional Funds To Crack Down On Illegal Street Racing
As many as nine inches of rain have been predicted in the region of the Santa Barbara County Mountains, the Santa Ynez Range, an extremely pressing issue for residents in the area that are surrounded by the nearly 17,000 barren acres of land.