19.7 inches to date: ‘Significant’ storm headed Santa Paula’s way

February 17, 2017
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula has already received more rain than what usually falls in the normal rain year and more is coming: Friday is supposed to be the big day in a new series of storms forecast to start Thursday with light to moderate rain and then pour like all get out until Saturday morning. Lighter rain is projected to follow.

The National Weather Service reported Ventura County and the rest of Southern California can expect significant rain from Friday’s storm that alone could bring 2 to 4 inches of rain in the valleys and 4 to 8 inches to south-facing mountain slopes.

It looks like it’s going to be a doozy, with the National Weather Service projecting Friday’s storm may be the most significant of the season, especially for Santa Barbara South Coast and points south including Ventura County.

Santa Paula Fire Department will be handing out sand and sandbags to those needing them but encourages residents to visit an area hardware store to prepare in advance, and not to wait until flooding is an emergency. 

Possible impacts due to potentially widespread heavy rain include flooding for urban areas, creeks and small streams, rockslides along canyon roads and flash flooding with mud and debris flows, especially near and below recent burn areas. 

Additionally, strong and potentially damaging southerly winds are expected to accompany the storm system that could down trees and power lines. 

Emergency officials are asking that people not travel unless they absolutely have to due to reduced visibility and the risk of hydroplaning in ponds of water along some roadways. If you must drive, leave for your destination early, make sure vehicle headlights are on and drive slowly. 

For updates and to monitor the storm visit the Ventura County Sheriff Office of Emergency Services, www.vcemergency.com and the Ventura County Watershed Protection District http://www.vcwatershed.net/fws/

You can also tune in 1610AM Radio, the Ready Santa Paula/Santa Paula Citizens Corps station that will go live in case of emergency. 

According to the Ventura County Watershed District, Santa Paula has experienced 19.07 inches of rain since October 1, when the rain year starts. That is 105.7 percent of the normal rainfall of 18.05 inches, a number resulting from decades of rain records and not including the 5-year drought.

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