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California orders evacuation as high rains and winds drown the city

California orders evacuation as high rains and winds drown the city

Officials in Santa Barbara County, California, have reportedly issued an emergency evacuation order for the flooded city of Montecito as torrential rains and powerful winds continue to hit the west coast of the US.

Approximately 10,000 people are expected to be relocated around the affluent coastal enclave, which is tucked between the Pacific Ocean and adjacent hilly hills. Celebrities like Television host Oprah Winfrey as well as the royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reside in the town.

Bill Brown, Santa Barbara County's Sheriff, stated that the order to evacuate was issued due to the continuing high rate of rainfall on Monday. He also added that there was no indication that the situation would change before night.

California has declared a federal state of emergency as a string of atmospheric rivers sweeps into the state, bringing high-intensity streams of precipitation to a region already battered by years of drought.

The governor's administration raised the storm's death count from 12 to 14 on Monday, as locals dealt with water, damaged power lines, and uprooted trees. The Montecito Fire Department reported that heavy traffic caused its site to crash.

Nearly five years have passed since a tragic mudslide in the city of Montecito was caused by excessive rainfall. As per the California Office of Emergency Services, surging mud hurled enormous boulders and torrents of debris down the town's hillsides, smashing homes and causing the deaths of 23 people at the time.

The evacuation notice on Monday also comes one day ahead of the anniversary of a 2005 landslide that wrecked the little town of La Conchita, which is located approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Santa Barbara and resulted in the destruction of dozens of homes and the death of ten people.

Officials are concerned about the possibility of another devastating mudslide during this week's storm because of the region's history of wildfires and the significant amount of precipitation.

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Meghna Singh

An English Literature graduate, Meghna Singh ventured into the profession of content development to incorporate her knack for writing articles across verticals including technology, healthcare, business, and alike for News Origins and Newsorigins. She has also completed her MBA in Tourism and worked as a content creator in the field of product development.