Snow, rain and flooding were featured during the two day storm that hit Tuesday and Wednesday. Chief Peak and the Topa Topa mountains got snow

Storms line up over SP, bring pounding rain, thunder, lighting, hail

January 08, 2016
Santa Paula News

Storms lined up over California pounding some areas including Santa Paula where more than 3 inches of rain, some say more than 4 inches, fell on the city Tuesday into Wednesday.

Snow dusted Chief Peak mountain to the north of the city with the Topa Topa range more to the west looking almost skiable due to heavier snowfall. Hail hit the area covering Ken Chapman’s orchard in sizeable spheres of ice.

Thunder and lightening, street flooding, clogged drains, power outages, brown outs and more were experienced during the storm, which at its height Wednesday registered a rainfall rate of 8 inches an hour. 

Ventura County Fire responded to C.A.R.L. (Canine Adoption and Rescue League) shelter Wednesday about 11 a.m. when water crested over a barranca and flooded streets on Mission Rock Road west of the city. 

Water flooded some areas of C.A.R.L. where dogs were moved to dry kennels and employees and animals were told to shelter in place until VCFD personnel pumped water away from the facility, put down sandbags and cleaned the road of mud.

“Although very busy there was nothing of significance,” that Santa Paula Fire Chief Rick Araiza said occurred in the city.  

“We went to several flooding calls but most was minor intrusion of water, all roads are clear and most calls were from the heavy downpour of water all at once.”

There was an incident reported on March Street at the dialysis center where a structure fire was reported and patients evacuated but Araiza said, “It was simply a malfunction of the heating system.”

City streets and water personnel were proactive and had prepared for the storm said Interim Public Works Director Brian Yanez.

“We had no major problems with any reported damages…crews have done an excellent job.”

Yanez said late Wednesday that Pub¡lic Works “Has dropped over 40 tons of sand at SPFD Station #81 and purchase another 5,000 sandbags,” for the public to redirect water away from problem areas on their property that are prone to flooding.

The roof was another matter for the Santa Paula Times building on Davis Street where it was found that one-foot of water had accumulated due to a plugged drain.

At Santa Paula Airport there was a major drainage issue that allowed water to reach knee high until it was unclogged by Rowena Mason, president of the airport association’s board of directors, and her husband Pete Mason.

Help was also needed in the area of Mupu School where a clogged drain threatened flooding to homes and the campus.

Also Wednesday a power outage near West Harvard Boulevard and South Steckel Drive was reported about 1:10 p.m. Power was restored to about 146 customers by 6:15 p.m. Earlier in the day there was a reported outage at Hillview Estates; early Thursday after the storm had moved out Time Warner Cable customers in several sections of the city were without television, Internet and — in some cases phone services — until about 9 a.m. 

Rainfall totals were all over the map with some rain gauge watchers reporting 4.25 inches at Hillview Estates west of Peck Road to reporting a total of 3.67 inches from its station near Todd Road and the Santa Clara River.

Weather Underground stations operated by Andy Van Sciver in the Oaks and Talia Wunder mid-city also reported varying storm amounts. 

Scattered showers were expected, no rain Friday and another possible storm moving in the county again Saturday.

Wednesday’s storm dropped 1-4 inches of rain around Ventura County, causing widespread street flooding — including near Pacific View Mall where two people had to be rescued from a vehicle — and some property damage from the water and strong winds that toppled trees in some areas.

Wednesday’s storm and high winds surprised forecasters as it was expected Tuesday’s storm would be more severe. Flash flood warnings were heard on area radios and televisions for most of Wednesday but burn areas above Camarillo Springs and Solimar Beach were largely stable although the Ventura Freeway (101) still had some lane closures. Portions of South Mountain and Balcom Canyon roads were also closed.

Hail was reported in various areas besides Santa Paula and there was about 5-inches of snow in the mountains above 5,000 feet.

With the snow it promised to be a chilly Thursday.

Although for the most part storms will take a break Yanez said the weather event created an unwelcome side effect: “Staff will be working potholing next week as the rain has taken its toll on our old roads…”

The Santa Paula Airport had a drain unclogged by Airport Association President Rowena Mason

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