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Storms not enough to end the drought

March 04, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
It wasn’t enough to cure the drought but it was enough to bring some hope as rain pounded Santa Paula in the second of two storms to hit the state. Locally weather gauges recorded rainfall ranging from upper-4-inches to just a raindrop above 6-inches.
The second storm that moved in Thursday evening and picked up steam with strong winds Friday into Saturday brought a heavier down pour, knocking down trees, dismantling several outbuildings and causing flooding in several areas.
The better news is the two storm events brought more rain than was recorded for the whole 2013 rain season. All in all Interim Public Works Director Brian Yanez said Santa Paula weathered the storm: “We had a couple of trees down on private property is what I received this morning,” said Yanez who noted, “Staff did a really good job on Hardison and Foothill Road with mud issues and storm drain issues on Cherry Hill Road.”
Minor flooding was reported at the Chili Hut on the 800 block of East Main Street, flooding was also reported in the 1200 block of East Main, on LaVuelta and at some intersections.
The wind and rain also knocked down some corrugated metal outbuildings on a ranch in the 15000 block of West Telegraph Road.
A tree was leaning precariously Friday morning at Cemetery Road and Santa Paula Street, and city crews worked through the rain to remove it while traffic was diverted.
Yanez noted, “The street crew had to shut down the eastbound lane while a tree crew cut the tree down... “
Another tree was felled by the weather that afternoon just over the bridge at Santa Paula Creek.
“So far we’ve had only a couple wind blown events,” said Fire Chief Rick Araiza early Friday. “We had a shed roof get blown into some lines on Telegraph Road early this morning and a canopy on 8th and Main streets get blown away at the car lot at that corner.”
The California Highway Patrol reported mudslides and rockslides Friday night the 4400 block of Highway 150/Ojai-Santa Paula Road, in the area of Mupu School north of Santa Paula.
The two storms brought 4.75 inches of rain to Hillview Estates.
“We’ve had 6.2 inches in Fagan Canyon since Wednesday night,” said Janice Dickenson.
In the Oaks Frankie Franks reported, “We got over 6 inches! No significant damage but we had to drain the pond of water a couple of times to keep it from overflowing... “
Cheryl Johnston reported 5.60 inches at JC Farms located on West Santa Paula Street in the orchard area.
The Ventura County Watershed Protection District reported 4.58 inches for Santa Paula, bringing the year-to-date total to 5.65 inches, a total almost matched by SPWeather.net, which recorded 5.68 inches to date from the October 1 start of the rain season.
Whatever the exact amount of rain, it clearly outpaced last year’s total rainfall of only 3.17 inches, 2013 being the driest year on record for Santa Paula.
The Watershed Protection District noted that normal local rainfall to date is 13.21 inches and Santa Paula is at 42.8 percent of normal... but far ahead of last year’s to date total rainfall of zero, zip, no rain at all.
The most rain in the state from the February/March storm was recorded in Ventura County at Matilija Canyon, a deluge registered at an unconfirmed 18.14 inches.