No more 'voluntary' evacuations in area of California slide - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

No more 'voluntary' evacuations in area of California slide

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File). FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2018, file photo, large rocks and mud are shown in front of a house in Montecito, Calif. Local emergency authorities preparing for future storms like the one that devastated the Southern Cal... (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File). FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2018, file photo, large rocks and mud are shown in front of a house in Montecito, Calif. Local emergency authorities preparing for future storms like the one that devastated the Southern Cal...
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file). FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2018, file photo, Bill Asher, left, and his friend Gil Loustalot survey storm damage to Asher's home in Montecito, Calif. Local emergency authorities preparing for future storms like the one... (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file). FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2018, file photo, Bill Asher, left, and his friend Gil Loustalot survey storm damage to Asher's home in Montecito, Calif. Local emergency authorities preparing for future storms like the one...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - Emergency authorities in a Southern California county are eliminating the word "voluntary" from language used in evacuation orders following the devastating mudslides that struck last month.

Santa Barbara County officials said Thursday that the new terminology will be "pre-evacuation advisory," ''recommended evacuation warning" and "mandatory evacuation order."

A huge downpour unleashed raging torrents laden with large boulders and other debris that bulldozed through the sleeping community of Montecito, sweeping away homes and people. More than 100 homes were destroyed, many others were damaged, 21 people were confirmed killed and two others remain missing.

Many residents remained despite mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders when the deadly storm hit on Jan. 9.

"We recognize that with respect to the latter category, the voluntary evacuation order, we found after the January 9th event that for some the focus was on the word 'voluntary' rather than on the word 'evacuation,'" Sheriff Bill Brown said at a press conference.

"And the reality is that some people misinterpreted that and believed that there was a measure of safety there that there really wasn't."

Brown said the new terminology is clearer by stressing that evacuation is still recommended.

The storm arrived not long after the largest wildfire in recorded California history burned away vegetation from slopes and canyons of the Santa Ynez Mountains above Montecito, which sits on coastal foothills overlooking the Pacific about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Los Angeles.

County officials said experts had expected the greatest damage to occur in the uppermost elevations of the community, not all the way down the hills to the sea.

"The storm that was predicted and the storm that we prepared for was not the storm we received," Brown said. "It was of much greater intensity."

The county also released a new interactive map of potential danger areas that only uses two categories: high risk and extreme risk. Officials have also begun referring to the disaster as the "1-9 debris flow" to stress that it was not simply sliding mud.

"Let us not be fooled that the mountains have flushed the debris from the 1-9 storm," said Robert Lewin, the county's director of the Office of Emergency Management. "The mountains and the canyons are still loaded with rocks, sediment and other debris."

The county also intends to use the new evacuation terminology for wildfires.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • U.S. & World NewsMore>>

  • US women beat Canada for gold in a 3-2 shootout thriller

    US women beat Canada for gold in a 3-2 shootout thriller

    Thursday, February 22 2018 2:34 AM EST2018-02-22 07:34:17 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:56 AM EST2018-02-22 14:56:13 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Slocum). United States celebrates winning gold after the women's gold medal hockey game against Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum). United States celebrates winning gold after the women's gold medal hockey game against Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.
    The Americans' gold medal drought in women's hockey _ finally _ is over.More >>
    The Americans' gold medal drought in women's hockey _ finally _ is over.More >>
  • Nowitzki 'disgusted' by report of hostile workplace for Mavs

    Nowitzki 'disgusted' by report of hostile workplace for Mavs

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:13 AM EST2018-02-21 07:13:49 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:56 AM EST2018-02-22 14:56:07 GMT
    The Dallas Mavericks have hired outside counsel to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery in a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile workplace...More >>
    The Dallas Mavericks have hired outside counsel to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery in a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile workplace environment for women.More >>
  • Shiffrin gets silver in Vonn's last Olympic race; Gisin wins

    Shiffrin gets silver in Vonn's last Olympic race; Gisin wins

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 11:37 PM EST2018-02-22 04:37:23 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:56 AM EST2018-02-22 14:56:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/Christophe Ena). United States' Lindsey Vonn comes to a stop in the finish area of the women's combined downhill at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena). United States' Lindsey Vonn comes to a stop in the finish area of the women's combined downhill at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.
    American teammates Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin meet in their 1st Olympic race and it will go down to the wire.More >>
    American teammates Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin meet in their 1st Olympic race and it will go down to the wire.More >>
  • NationalMore>>

  • Weinstein uses quotes from female celebrities in his defense

    Weinstein uses quotes from female celebrities in his defense

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 7:44 PM EST2018-02-22 00:44:06 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:55 AM EST2018-02-22 14:55:29 GMT
    (AP Photo/John Carucci, File). FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2011 file photo, film producer Harvey Weinstein poses for a photo in New York. Weinstein has asked a judge to toss out a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against him and he's invoking the wo...(AP Photo/John Carucci, File). FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2011 file photo, film producer Harvey Weinstein poses for a photo in New York. Weinstein has asked a judge to toss out a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against him and he's invoking the wo...
    Harvey Weinstein has asked a judge to dismiss a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit against him and invoked the words of some A-list actresses in his defense.More >>
    Harvey Weinstein has asked a judge to dismiss a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit against him and invoked the words of some A-list actresses in his defense.More >>
  • Ford ousts top exec over 'inappropriate behavior'

    Ford ousts top exec over 'inappropriate behavior'

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 4:24 PM EST2018-02-21 21:24:07 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:54 AM EST2018-02-22 14:54:51 GMT
    In this Jan. 9, 2017, file photo, Ford Executive Vice President Raj Nair addresses the North American International Auto show in Detroit. Ford has ousted Nair over allegations of unspecified inappropriate behavior. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)In this Jan. 9, 2017, file photo, Ford Executive Vice President Raj Nair addresses the North American International Auto show in Detroit. Ford has ousted Nair over allegations of unspecified inappropriate behavior. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
    In this Jan. 9, 2017, file photo, Ford Executive Vice President Raj Nair addresses the North American International Auto show in Detroit. Ford has ousted Nair over allegations of unspecified inappropriate behavior. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)In this Jan. 9, 2017, file photo, Ford Executive Vice President Raj Nair addresses the North American International Auto show in Detroit. Ford has ousted Nair over allegations of unspecified inappropriate behavior. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

    Ford has ousted one of its top executives over allegations of unspecified inappropriate behavior.

    More >>

    Ford has ousted one of its top executives over allegations of unspecified inappropriate behavior.

    More >>
  • Lawsuit: Trump's ending immigrant program racially motivated

    Lawsuit: Trump's ending immigrant program racially motivated

    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:04 AM EST2018-02-22 14:04:30 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:49 AM EST2018-02-22 14:49:09 GMT
    Haitian and Salvadoran immigrants are suing President Donald Trump over the administration's decision to end special protections that have allowed them to live and work in the US.More >>
    Haitian and Salvadoran immigrants are suing President Donald Trump over the administration's decision to end special protections that have allowed them to live and work in the US.More >>
Powered by Frankly