People in Montecito are paying close attention to the radar as heavy rains are forecast to hit the Central Coast in the next few hours. In the last 4 months, this is the sixth time that some residents of the Santa Barbara County will need to evacuate their homes. Back in January, California experienced the deadliest flood in decades killing a total of 21 people.
This time, the strongest storm of the year is predicted to directly hit areas of the Thomas fire. Authorities believe this will bring along a new wave of destructive mudslides and are urging residents to evacuate immediately.
According to the Los Angeles Times, authorities have hit 1,000 homes in the Montecito area asking residents to leave. They have also ordered 2,400 Ventura County residents, while 32,200 other residents live in voluntary evacuation zones.
"We know it is disruptive, costly and inconvenient," said Sheriff Bill Brown of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.
"We would not be making this decision without it being our belief that it is necessary to protect your safety."
Many residents of Montecito are made use of their last few hours before the storm by going grocery shopping and stocking up on necessities before heading to hotels.
Robert Lewin, director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, commented "This storm is not the storm to question. This is a legitimate, hard-coming storm that has the potential to cause destruction. It has the potential to take lives.… Those mountains are locked and loaded with debris."
KFI's Kris Ankarlo reports live on KFIAM640 from Santa Barbara County where the rain has picked up again.