Deputies went door to door ordering residents to evacuate from coastal Southern California neighborhoods ahead of a powerful winter storm sweeping in Friday after bringing heavy snow and whiteout conditions to northern mountains and steady rain elsewhere. As many as 30,000 people are under evacuation orders in the foothills of Santa Barbara County, which were stripped bare by recent wildfires, the AP reports. Sheriff Bill Brown said forecasters weren't certain how intense the storm would be when it arrives in Southern California in the early hours of Friday. However, modeling indicates "there is risk to life and property and risk of disruption to critical services," he warned. To the north, a blizzard warning was in effect for parts of the Sierra Nevada.
Uber and Lyft were offering free rides for residents to local shelters. People can't be forced to leave their homes under a mandatory evacuation order, but authorities say those people shouldn't be expected to be rescued while the storm event is occurring. "I'm not going anywhere," said Harriet Mosson from her home in Montecito, the enclave devastated by deadly mud and debris flows during downpours on Jan. 9. The 76-year-old said the three-story condo where she lives wasn't damaged then because it's on the ocean side of US 101, which helped divert the mudslides that roared down the mountains. (Another "bomb cyclone" may be headed for the Northeast.)