Members from the National Weather Service, Cal Fire, State Office of Emergency and many more gathered in Santa Barbara recently to warn residents that now is the time to get prepared for the coming El Nino. Many experts believe that if the forecast El Nino hits the way they believe it will, the rainy season this year could be catastrophic.
Eric Bolt from the National Weather Service categorized the strength of this El Nino as “strong.” Bolt also believes that it could be stronger than the 1997 El Nino. There are predictions that it could bring as much as 35 inches of rain during the upcoming winter season.
“We could see upwards of 200% of average rainfall event,” said Bill Croyle of the California Department of Water Resources. “We do expect an extremely wet season in California.”
Santa Barbara County is currently hard at work trying to prevent major flooding. With the potential for extreme rainfall this season, burn areas will need to be prepared for potential mudslides. The county suggests residents clear out drains, collect sandbags, and look into flood insurance now before winter season arrives.
“We try to make sure that the facilities that we have in place are well maintained and cleaned ready for the upcoming winter season. In fact, our crews are out there right now doing what they do every year such as cleaning creeks and channels,” said Jon Frye, Santa Barbara County engineering manager.
Caltrans agrees with the gloomy forecast stating that last week’s mudslides that closed Interstate 5 over the Grapevine and Highway 58 near Tehachapi were a preview of what may come this winter.
“Make sure you heed any warnings of local officials,” said Chief Scott Edson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “If we’re in your area asking you to evacuate because we’re concerned for the area, please do your best to respond to our request so that you don’t become part of the problem.”
I hope reading this blog motivates you to prepare for the coming El Nino now so you and your family are ready for the coming storms. Rain or shine, I’m here to help in your home hunting or selling journey in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, just call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com.