VENTURA, Calif. – Residents in Ventura County were on high alert as mandatory evacuation orders and warnings were issued ahead of an impending winter storm expected to bring heavy downpours.
The evacuation orders, which went into effect at 9 a.m. Saturday, were targeted at residents in the unincorporated Ojai area, including Matilija Canyon, North Fork, and Camino Cielo. Meanwhile, evacuation warnings were also issued for the communities of Foster Park/Camp Chaffee and specific structures in unincorporated Camarillo.
The storm, which was forecasted to bring prolonged periods of moderate to heavy rain, was expected to begin Saturday afternoon and intensify through Sunday morning. Officials cautioned that the amount of rain could lead to landslides or debris flows, prompting the evacuation orders and warnings.
In response to the potential crisis, an emergency evacuation shelter was set up at the Ventura College Gymnasium at 4677 Telegraph Road to provide refuge for those affected. The proactive measures came on the heels of similar evacuation warnings being issued for parts of Santa Barbara County, further emphasizing the severity of the impending storm.