Caltrans Completes Reopening of Highway 101 Through Montecito Saturday Night

Signs explaining the flood-danger and evacuation zones are set up in the Upper Village in Montecito

Signs explaining the flood-danger and evacuation zones are set up in the Upper Village in Montecito

Santa Barbara County emergency officials on Friday issued an evacuation order for residents in debris flow areas ahead of anticipated weekend storms.

In Malibu, where a fire past year destroyed many homes, Vidette Bell had her front door and garage barricaded with sandbags even before a previous storm hit.

The southbound lanes were reopened at Sheffield at 1:40 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

"Many motorists have been stuck driving in flooded streets", Santa Barbara County Fire Department's Mike Eliason said.

Numerous other roads in Montecito, Santa Barbara and throughout Santa Barbara County have been closed due to flooding, and county and Caltrans crews were working to get them open.

Evacuations have been ordered or recommended for many areas of Northern and Southern California that were hit by wildfires in recent months. He urged drivers who come upon flooded intersections to find alternate routes. Authorities fear that an inch of rain an hour could send fire debris, mud and boulders sluicing down denuded hillsides. "It's just not worth it".

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Ventura County sheriff's Sgt. Eric Buschow says several people, including two other members of the team, were hurt in the two crashes Saturday on Interstate 5.

An overturned vehicle is seen at a scene of a fatal accident, where a volunteer member of the Ventura County search and rescue team was killed, along Interstate Highway 5 south of Pyramid Lake, Calif., on February 2, 2019.

A minivan carrying a family was traveling too fast for the wet conditions, lost control and plowed into members of the team, Los Angeles County fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda said, warning motorists to slow down in the rain.

Heavy equipment clears mud and debris off of Highway 101 in Montecito. The Sierra is already loaded with snow from a series of storms in January. The weather service lifted flash-flood watches for areas burned by the Mendocino Complex, Camp and Carr wildfires in Northern California.

"Heavy rain possible over parts of Southern California Coast", the National Weather Service said in a short-range weather forecast published on Sunday, valid through Tuesday, Feb. 05. About an inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain was recorded in the San Francisco Bay Area before the storm moved south early Saturday. It will be followed by additional, less powerful storms into next week.

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