The Latest: Santa Barbara County lifting evacuation orders

March 6, 2019
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This time exposure photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department shows a series of lightning strikes over Santa Barbara, Calif., seen from Stearns Wharf in the city's harbor, Tuesday evening, March 5, 2019. A storm soaking California on Wednesday could trigger mudslides in wildfire burn areas where thousands of residents are under evacuation orders, authorities warned. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a California’s stormy winter (all times local):

7:45 a.m.

Santa Barbara County authorities are planning to lift evacuation orders for communities below wildfire burn scars as the latest winter storm moves on without a repeat of damaging mud and debris flows.

The county Sheriff’s Office says the evacuations orders will be lifted at 8 a.m. Wednesday, but residents are advised to be cautious when they return home.

The orders affected an estimated 3,000 residents on the county’s south coast.

Just over a year ago, a downpour on the Thomas fire burn scar unleashed massive, deadly debris flows that ravaged the community of Montecito.

Flood advisories for neighboring Ventura and Los Angeles counties are expected to expire shortly.


6:37 a.m.

Drenching rain is causing roadway flooding and traffic accidents as another storm pounds California.

A flood advisory is in effect Wednesday morning from Los Angeles west to Santa Barbara, and flood watches are posted in many other areas.

The late-winter storm rolled in late Tuesday, hurling lightning bolts and unleashing blasts of thunder through the night.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office acted in advance of the storm, ordering 3,000 residents to evacuate neighborhoods below mountains and hills scarred by wildfires. That included parts of Montecito hit by a disastrous debris flow just over a year ago.

Rain is expected to diminish through the day, but shower activity will continue on Thursday and Friday.