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Rains in Southern California send rivers of mud into homes, trigger fire

09 January 2018

Now Santa Barbara County has issued more evacuation orders effective Monday; this time it's for the threat of mudslides and flash flooding. Active searches are underway as rain continues to fall from a huge winter storm that has soaked much of the state. Evacuations also include homes near other burn areas dating to 2016.

The first major rainstorm in almost a year moved in Southern California on Monday, bringing light showers that will intensify in the afternoon.

Also making the conditions more risky are winds gusting as high as 70 miles per hour through Tuesday night.

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The county has also acquired 40,000 surplus sandbags from the U.S. Defense Department and purchased others to distribute to the public at fire stations. A record 3.15 inches (8 centimeters) of rain fell in downtown San Francisco on Monday.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches in the Thomas, Whitier, Creek and LaTuna burn areas of Southern California from Monday night through Tuesday.

A winter weather advisory is in place for mountain areas, where officials warned motorists to prepare for hard travel conditions, including gusty winds, low visibility and snow-covered roads.

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Evacuations have been ordered for communities below hillsides charred by California's largest-ever wildfire as the first major winter storm of the season brings rare rain and raises the risk of mudslides.

A plane drops flame retardant on a luxury hillside home in the Santa Barbara area threatened by the Thomas Fire on December 11, 2017.

An evacuation center has been set up for displaced residents. Thousands of people in parts of Ventura and Los Angeles counties were ordered to evacuate.

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Snow could make for treacherous driving conditions in mountain areas early Tuesday.

Rains in Southern California send rivers of mud into homes, trigger fire