California cities clean up from storms


(NewsNation) — As California experiences a brief break from storms, cities throughout the state are managing evacuations and rescues due to flooding.

Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rowse joined NewsNation to talk about how his city is faring. Evacuation orders have been lifted there, though some residents are sheltering in place due to mudslides.

“We had no deaths and no serious injuries in Santa Barbara city itself,” Rowse said. “Even though our rainfall totals totals were at historic highs.”

Rowse recognized how cooperation between agencies has made a huge difference in avoiding deaths or serious injuries.

“I am extremely impressed by the cooperation between different agencies, rescue crews, both city, county, state and federal. They’ve been amazing,” Rowse said.

Preparation for the storms was key, he said, as the city did prepare for evacuations and rescues, including public warnings in English and Spanish. They also prepared for the area to become inaccessible.

“So you really couldn’t get in or out of Santa Barbara, anticipating that we had some of our public safety personnel put up in hotels along with some of our public works people in order that they be here and not get stuck out of town for this entire event,” Rowse explained.

More rain is still in the forecast for California, with a longer storm system predicted to last until Jan. 17.

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