Santa Barbara- S County

Massive storm system quickly rolls through Santa Barbara

"Microburst" overturned boats, toppled power lines

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A quick-hitting storm system rolled through Santa Barbara overturning boats, leaving flooded roadways and power lines knocked down.

Just before 3 p.m., a violent weather event rolled through Santa Barbara with massive amounts of rain and wind.

The storm is believed to be a microburst, a sudden localized and powerful air current. Some areas in Santa Barbara were left unscathed with the majority of damage coming to the Santa Barbara Harbor and lower State Street.

Trees were knocked over near lower State Street and U.S. Highway 101 was at a crawl as debris slowed traffic. Several downtown area visitors took shelter inside nearby businesses.

West Gutierrez had multiple trees in the roadway and some landed on top of cars. People were advised to stay away from the area as crews worked to remove people who were trapped in their vehicles.

Power lines were knocked down on Ortega Street and multiple businesses lost power. Some businesses were forced to close down for the remaining of the day.

A large eucalyptus tree landed on railroad tracks, delaying Amtrak traffic.

Multiple traffic incidents were reported as the water collected on the roadway. Several injuries were also reported.

Boats, kayaks, and paddleboards overturned in the Santa Barbara Harbor and at least 17 people had to be rescued. The Santa Barbara City Fire Department said 56 people were tossed into the water. The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol said all people were accounted for and remind the public of the importance of wearing a life jacket when out in the water.

Jetskiers and private citizens also jumped in to help. Some people swam to shore on their own. A 22-foot sailboat was also overturned and was sinking into the ocean.

Multiple people called to report a tornado, although it is not believed the weather event was a tornado. Microbursts behave in similar ways and can cause similar damage.

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