Mandatory Evacuation Orders Issued for Some Parts of Southern California

Mandatory Evacuation Orders

Southern California experienced a major winter storm on Thursday. The storm occasioned heavy snowfalls, strong winds, and heavy rains in different parts of the region. Expecting the worst, Santa Barbara County issued a mandatory evacuation order to 30 thousand people.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff, Bill Brown, confirmed that weather forecasts had not particularly indicated that the county would be hard hit by the storm. Modeling, however, suggested that certain areas in the county might experience life-threatening floods and mudslides, hence the order to evacuate early Friday. In addition, the county is seeking to adhere to a new system of alerts, which encourage residents to evacuate ahead of time, instead of staying put until a storm touches down.
It is worth mentioning that Montecito, an area earmarked for evacuation, experienced a deadly storm leading to flash floods earlier in the year. The floods destroyed hundreds of homes, displacing thousands of residents. In addition, 21 people lost their lives, and two are still missing as a result of the flash floods.
Also, apart from flash floods, some of the areas where evacuation orders were issued had experienced three wildfires in the last 18 months. The areas include Goleta, Summerland, Carpinteria, etc.
Some residents, however, will not heed evacuation orders. Harriet Mosson, a resident of Montecito, vowed to remain in her residence, an apparent defiance of the evacuation order. The 76-year-old gave her reason for the resolute stance: The building she occupies remained untouched during the January flash floods because “it’s on the ocean side of U.S. 101,” preventing mudslides from directly hitting the building. She stayed optimistic that the building would survive the storm, and that she could leave the building in case she feels her life is in danger.
Authorities, however, warned that residents who defy evacuation orders, choosing to remain in hazard-prone areas, should not expect to be rescued in the event of a deadly disaster.