12.3.18 Santa Barbara County Updated Debris Flow Risk Map

A portion of the updated Santa Barbara County debris flow risk map shows individual parcels outlined in red, new at-risk areas in salmon and schools that would be evacuated if a flow is anticipated in olive green.

The interactive map that designates areas at risk from debris flows below the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa wildfire burns has been updated for this winter’s storm season.

Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management said the updated map is posted at www.ReadySBC.org, where residents living below the burn areas can check to see if their residences are in a risk area.

The new map, which focuses on the watersheds draining into the Montecito and Carpinteria developed areas, incorporates the most up-to-date scientific modeling, field reconnaissance and data gathered following the 1/9 Debris Flow, an OEM spokesman said.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant funds were used to cover 75 percent of the $124,000 total cost of the update.

The spokesman said if a storm is predicted to exceed rain thresholds expected to cause a debris flow, the risk area will be evacuated.

In the event of a rapidly developing storm with little to no warning, residents living in the risk areas should have a plan to protect themselves and their families if it is not safe to evacuate, the spokesman said.

That can include going to the home of a neighbor who lives on higher ground or sheltering in place.

For help developing a family safety plan, contact a local fire department or visit www.ready.gov.

Those without access to the internet may contact their local fire department to determine their risk.

County officials are also advising residents and visitors to visit www.ReadySBC.org to register for Aware and Prepare emergency alerts and download materials for Storm Ready-Set-Go.

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Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.