The strongest storm of the season is headed toward Ventura County. Here’s what to expect

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A storm on its way to hit Ventura County this weekend could bring “unprecedented” rainfall and could prompt warnings and evacuations, authorities said.

The strongest storm of the season was harnessing a lot of moisture across the Pacific Ocean, said Mike Wofford, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. Rain may begin locally on Saturday afternoon.

the The peak of the storm It’s expected to happen — the second in a matter of days — Sunday afternoon and continue into Monday morning, Wofford said.

Forecasts indicate rainfall ranging from 3 to 6 inches in the coastal areas and the valley. It can see foothill and mountain areas from 6 to 12 inches.

At the National Weather Service Flood issued Watch over most of the county and watch for winter storms in the northern mountainous areas. Snow and wind speeds in those spots can reach 80 mph on the higher peaks.

Patrick Maynard, director of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Emergency servicesHe urged residents to remain alert to changing conditions and prepare to evacuate if they live in an area prone to flooding. “The storm will likely bring a significant amount of rain to our county,” Maynard said. “Where and when that will happen, we don’t necessarily know. But we want people to stay out of harm’s way.”

A rainstorm in Southern California washes out roads and cuts off communities

Last January, rain hit the province, filling streams and rivers and causing mud and debris flows. Highways and roads were closed — at times, stranding motorists — as they were flooded with water, mud and rocks. A woman drowned as floodwaters rose in the Santa Clara River.

County helicopter crews helped evacuate residents of Matilija Canyon as the remote community was cut off by storm surges that dropped up to 18 inches in just over 24 hours in the mountains. State Highway 33 and the county’s Matilija Canyon Road took some of the biggest hits. Parts of the roads were washed away and other parts were buried in mud and rocks.

Other areas, including Old Creek and Creek roads and the Foster Park neighborhood near Camp Chaffee Road, also sustained significant damage. Several homes in the area of ​​Garada and Truino streets near Camarillo experienced repeated flooding due to draining rainwater.

Along the coast, dirt moved from the hills above La Conchita last January. Debris from an ancient landslide fell about 150 feet but the mud stopped before it reached homes, officials said.

The coastal community of about 300 people lies at the bottom of an unstable hill, one that collapsed in 1995 and again in 2005 when a landslide killed 10 people and buried homes without warning. The authorities declared it a geological danger zone.

Officials say they have no surefire way to predict if or when La Conchita’s hillside might collapse because of the complex nature of the risks. But the county is looking Historical stimuli. As of Friday, recent rains have not reached those levels, but that could change depending on the upcoming storm totals.

How long can the Pineapple Express aerial river in California last?

The big question is how long the rain will last.

If the storm moves through the local area faster, it may not be as intense, Wofford said. But as of Friday, models indicated it could falter in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Some models show it could move through those areas and stop east in Los Angeles County, he said.

“There’s still a little bit of uncertainty about exactly how things will play out,” he said.

According to forecasts, rain or rain may continue until Tuesday.

To sign up for emergency alerts in Ventura County, go to Readyventuracounty.org/vc-alert. For information about the storm and any possible evacuations and road closures, go to vcemergency.com.

A list of county fire stations equipped with sandbags is available on the website https://vcfd.org/sandbag-stations/. Other sandbag locations include Sangon Maintenance Yard, 336 Sangon Road, Ventura; Camp Chaffee and Casitas Vista roads near Foster Park; and Moorpark Library, 699 Moorpark Blvd.

Cheri Carlson covers the environment and county government for the Ventura County Star. Contact her at cheri.carlson@vcstar.com or 805-437-0260.

This article originally appeared on the Ventura County Star website: Pineapple Express storm may lead to evacuations in Ventura County

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