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Authorities hope California evacuees can return home this week after severe weather

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Posted at 4:56 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 16:56:48-05

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department in California's Central Coast were working feverishly to help residents recover as a major storm his the West Coast. While no major incidents were reported, there were evacuations.

The department's Fire Capt. Scott Safechuck said while local agencies were the ones that received many of the assistance calls, Santa Barbara County's firefighters went out to remove downed trees to keep roadways open.

California authorities said they were pleased that residents heeded warnings to evacuate, which were announced for southern Santa Barbara County's burn scar areas.

Officials said most drivers kept off the roadway during the storm, reducing the number of calls that dispatchers had to field.

Fire officials in Santa Barbara said people should expect to see downed trees and power lines on Thursday, and even boulders or rocks on the roads.

Area residents were advised to be aware of creek crossings as emergency workers say it only takes about 12 inches of water for a car to be swept away.

Residents were advised to stay clear of creeks, rivers and embankments.

The fire department’s top priority this week was to get people back into the evacuated areas when deemed safe to do so.

This story was originally published by KSBY of California's Central Coast, along with reporting from Scripps News.