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California areas advised to evacuate ahead of potential mudslides

06 March 2018

"Compared to the last event where we had very, very, very heavy rain in like a five-, 10-minute period, we're not really expecting the really heavy, quick intense rainfall, but I would say there's definitely a chance there'll be some issues in that Montecito area", said Curt Kaplan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

If a mandatory evacuation order is issued, the area must be clear by 9 a.m. March 1, the warning said. Heavy snow was expected in the mountains.

Officials said 87 percent of those in the threatened areas complied with the evacuation order.

Dozens of rescuers and rescue dogs rushed to the scene after an avalanche hit the Squaw Valley Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe near the Nevada state line.

Tom Fayram, Deputy Director of the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District, added "The catch basins were effective". 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 US 101", preventing mudslides from directly hitting the building.

"We have been told that it is very precarious and very risky", Sheriff Brown said, adding that the county is taking precautions to ensure that no one is in harm's way "...if we have another sizable debris flow".

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Wenyu Zhang, 42, vanished Thursday as the region was hit by a blizzard packing winds gusting to almost 150 miles per hour (241 kph) over the ridge tops.

Homes and businesses were destroyed, and 21 people were killed. The cause of death was not immediately determined. Harriet Mosson, a resident of Montecito, vowed to remain in her residence, an apparent defiance of the evacuation order.

The Placer County Sheriff's Department tweeted Friday that it appears that all skiers and snowboarders had been accounted for after the avalanche and that no fatalities reported.

The warning was issued through 6:45 a.m., and a lower-level Flash Flood Watch was in effect for much of the South Coast through 9 a.m. Travel through the range was discouraged. Total snowfall of 12 inches or more through Saturday will be possible in higher elevation mountain areas. It's also a boon for skiers and snowboarders.

Thursday, the City of Vacaville Public Information Office posted on Facebook, "The storm has arrived, bringing lots of rain and winds as well". In less than 24 hours we've already gotten over an inch of rain, with more to come!

California areas advised to evacuate ahead of potential mudslides