Evacuation ordered in Southern California mudslide area

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY (AP) - Authorities in California have issued a mandatory evacuation order for areas of the Santa Barbara County coast in advance of overnight rain and the possibility of debris flows like those that devastated Montecito in January.

Sheriff Bill Brown said the order issued Thursday affects as many as 30,000 people. It includes Montecito, where 21 people were killed by a massive mudslide.

Other areas impacted by the order are Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria.

A winter storm moving south through California is expected to reach the Santa Barbara area 100 miles (161 kilometers) west of Los Angeles early Friday.

The evacuation order says residents should be out of the areas by 6 p.m. Thursday. Brown says people won't be forcibly removed if they choose to stay.



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