h2

Articles

Rain Rain, Gone Away?

By Daryl Kelley For the latest storm totals, visit the OVN Weather Page

The strongest series of storms since 2005 rolled through the Ojai Valley this week, and as a final downpour hit Thursday afternoon, farmers and local officials said the results had been surprisingly benign — with little damage, flooding or mud slides.
The Ojai area did have six road closures by Thursday morning, but all were because of usual water flows during storms, said Gary Hart, battalion chief for the county Fire Department division that includes the Ojai Valley.
“We’re having the normal calls we have during storms,” Hart said. “Minor flooding because of water flows in roadways.”
Those temporary problems should be over by this afternoon as the fourth and final storm of the week passes, he said.
Temporary closures occurred on Highway 33 near Wheeler Gorge, on Camino Cielo, on McNell Road at Reeves Road, on Grand Avenue between McNell and McAndrew roads, on Matilija Canyon Road behind Matilija Dam and on Lockwood Valley Road at Chico Larsen.
A few buildings did experience minor flooding, Hart said.
“It’s all normal and we responded with sandbags,” Hart said of a few homes and Vons grocery at the “Y” intersection.
For farmers, the steady rains were all good news.
“We’ve had about 5 inches so far, so we don’t have to irrigate for maybe a month, I guess,” said farmer Tony Thacher. “But you know farmers like to complain. Right now we can’t pick anything. We’re itching to get back out and pick some tangerines this weekend.”
Steve Wickstrum, general manager of the valley’s largest water agency, said the four storms that began Sunday night had resulted in runoff that had only begun to fill Lake Casitas, the area’s primary source of water.
“I’ve been watching the storms, and we haven’t been slammed like some of the other areas,” Wickstrum said Thursday morning. “We’ve had some nice rains.”
By midday Thursday, however, those rains had resulted in diversions to the lake of only a few thousand acre-feet of water, said Wickstrum, who runs the Casitas Municipal Water District.
The huge Lake Casitas reservoir, which holds a maximum of 254,000 acre-feet, had risen only from about 73 percent full to 74.6 percent by noon Thursday. That’s an increase of about 4,300 acre-feet. (An acre-foot supplies two families for a year.)

The strongest series of storms since 2005 rolled through the Ojai Valley this week, and as a final downpour hit Thursday evening, farmers and local officials said the results had been surprisingly benign — with little damage, flooding or mud slides. The Ojai area did have six road closures by Thursday morning, but all were because of usual water flows during storms, said Gary Hart, battalion chief for the county Fire Department division that includes the Ojai Valley. “We’re having the normal calls we have during storms,” Hart said.

Register to read more...

Advertise on our site

Overview
Packages
Register