00:00:00 | 3:02:50




Another storm swept through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties Thursday night, and many had to evacuate. We get an update and learn how rain gauges can help prepare us for the next storm. Plus, a surprise drop out this week means there’s now only one candidate running for a seat on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

How we learn from each storm 8 MIN, 47 SEC

Rain that was once celebrated in drought-stricken Southern California is now feared by those living near recent wildfire burn zones. On Thursday, more than 20,000 people evacuated from Montecito, Carpinteria and parts of Goleta and Ojai, in preparation for a storm that came and went with little damage to show. This comes as a relief to a region still recovering from the mudslides in Montecito on January 9, which left 21 people dead and 2 still missing. We get an update on the impact of this latest storm, and learn how some emergency agencies have made changes to the language and mapping they use to warn residents.

Highway 33 north of Ojai closed due to debris flow of mid and boulders. Photo credit: Stephanie O'Neil.

Rocks and boulders like these in Ojai can get swept down burn areas during severe rain. Photo credit: Stephanie O’Neill.

Stephanie O'Neill, reporter and Ojai resident (@reportersteph)

Rain gauges measure storm intensity in real time 7 MIN, 52 SEC

Each time rain enters the forecast, emergency officials in Santa Barbara County worry about mudslides. The biggest questions are: how much rain will we get and how intense will that rain be? According to the US Geological Survey, one half an inch of rain per hour is enough to trigger debris flows on freshly burned mountainsides. Rain gauges help collect information on the amount of intensity of rainfall. Six new gauges were installed after the mudslide hit Montecito on January 9. Three of them are out on the Channel Islands, tracking storms that enter from the Pacific Ocean.

Newly installed rain gauges on Santa Rosa Island and atop Romero Canyon. Photo credit: County of Santa Barbara.

Newly installed rain gauges on Santa Rosa Island and atop Romero Canyon. Photo credit: County of Santa Barbara.

The top of the rain gauge collects the rain and filters it down to collect data. Photo credit: County of Santa Barbara.

Jon Frye, Engineer at the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District

Who pays for debris clean up? 5 MIN, 14 SEC

Santa Barbara County officials say they have spent about $46 million in emergency response, repairs and recovery work for the Thomas Fire and mudslides in Montecito. Most of that should be reimbursable from federal and state agencies. But, according to Assistant County Executive Officer Jeff Frapwell, it could take several years for the Federal Emergency Management Administration and California Office of Emergency Services to reimburse the county for its emergency spending.

Jeff Frapwell, Assistant CEO at the Santa Barbara County Executive Office

County Estimates $46 Million Cost for Thomas Fire, Montecito Debris Flow Response, Repairs

Susan Epstein drops out, Gregg Hart becomes sole candidate for Santa Barbara Supervisor 4 MIN, 1 SEC

In a surprising and unexplained move, political candidate Susan Epstein dropped out of the race for the Second District seat on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. Her decision came just days after kicking off a full-fledged campaign and raising more than $100,000. The move paves the way for the lone remaining candidate in the race: Gregg Hart, a Democrat who’s currently serving his second term on City Council.

Kelsey Brugger, Reporter at Santa Barbara Independent

Epstein Ends Supervisorial Campaign


Jonathan Bastian

Kathryn Barnes

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From The 805

Latest From KCRW

View Schedule


View All Events


Player Embed Code