Solvang City Council meeting postponed to Thursday; Santa Ynez High athletic activity canceled for Monday

The second huge storm within a week came through Santa Ynez Valley starting late Sunday through Monday afternoon and caused multiple road closures and evacuations due to the resultant flooding.

The most notable closure for the Santa Ynez Valley is Highway 154 from State Route 192 in Santa Barbara to the Highway 246 connection in Santa Ynez, due to boulders on the highway. Caltrans reported the closure on Twitter and said there was no estimate for reopening as of 12:11 p.m.

Also, the northbound lanes of Highway 101 have been closed between Mariposa Reina in Goleta and the Highway 1 junction north of Gaviota due to flooding. The southbound lanes of the highway remain open.

Near Los Alamos, Highway 135 is closed Batchelder Road to Harris Grade Road, and there have been numerous other road closures reported throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

Caltrans reported that Interstate 5 is now the primary detour for travelers headed north.

In a Santa Barbara County press conference, Monday morning Sheriff Bill Brown said that all residents in the Alisal, Thomas and Painted Cave fire area were ordered to shelter in place during the storm.

“This is a rapidly and developing event,” Brown said. “I was going to announce evacuations, but the National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings and we do not want people out at this exact moment, so we are urging sheltering in place until the potential for a flash flood has passed.”

Brown said that once the flash-flood warnings were lifted the Sheriff’s Department would be putting in the evacuation order for the fire areas.

Brown went on to say that this was part of a series of “significant and powerful” storms and that he expected heavy rain between 3 and 7 p.m.

“The weather service estimated total rainfall from 2 to 5 inches, but we have had reports of that being exceeded and it could be between 5 and 10 inches in the south-facing mountain ranges,” Brown said.

Meanwhile, the City of Solvang has announced that Monday’s regular City Council meeting has been postponed to Thursday, Jan. 12. The council will meet at its regular 6:30 p.m. time at its chambers on 1644 Oak St. Also, Santa Ynez High School has announced that all athletic events for Monday have been canceled. The Pirates’ girls basketball and soccer teams had home games scheduled, while the boys basketball and soccer teams had away games in San Luis Obispo County, which has reported road closures on Highway 101.

Waters from Nojoqui Creek are shown going past the Granite Crossing in Buellton during Monday’s storm. Photo by Amber Giorgi Mallea