Southern California storm: Mandatory evacuation orders lifted in Santa Barbara County

Posted at 10:20 AM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 16:42:45-05

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (KGTV) - Mandatory evacuation orders issued for parts of Santa Barbara County due to an incoming storm were lifted Friday, county officials said.

At about 9 a.m. Friday, county officials announced that the orders were lifted "for all areas" after "consultation with fire agencies and other public safety officials."

In a news release, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said, "Together we made it through the first winter storm since the 1/9 Debris Flow. On behalf of all public safety and emergency officials, we want to thank you for staying informed, being prepared and following the evacuation orders issued yesterday. We know that being evacuated is a tremendous hardship and we did not make this decision lightly. Because of your cooperation we were able to get through this together."

According to county officials, the storm caused minor damage in the area, but "no damages were sustained to utility infrastructure."

The storm has since moved further south into the Los Angeles area.

A mudslide closed part of Topanga Canyon at Pacific Coast Highway, leading to traffic delays.

The evacuation orders were initially issued Thursday afternoon for residents near the Thomas, Sherpa and Whittier fire burn areas in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland, and Carpinteria. Individuals were ordered to evacuate before 6 p.m.

A flash flood watch was also triggered at 9 p.m. Thursday for areas of Santa Barbara County affected by the Thomas, Whittier, and Sherpa fires.

Meanwhile, in San Diego County, rain is expected Friday evening into Saturday. Click here to check the latest forecast.