Santa Barbara Unified School District announces school closures due to rain

The rain flooded the Elwood Bluffs Monday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Anna Gilmore.

The rain flooded the Elwood Bluffs Monday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Anna Gilmore.

Cheers erupted in the early afternoon at DP on Monday following an announcement regarding the storm that has caused road closures and evacuations throughout the county. 

Principal Woodard announced an early dismissal due to the rain, with the district deciding to end school at 1:30 p.m. instead of the usual 3:25 p.m. The announcement followed flash flood and shelter in place warnings from the county, which left students wondering when they would be allowed to leave. 

This was just one of numerous school wide announcements made by Principal Woodard on Monday. He also announced that off-campus travel was prohibited during lunch, to comply with a county shelter in place order, and the student parking lot exit was blocked. 

“This is a dangerous situation, and students are required to stay,” the school posted on its Instagram. 

The latest announcement stated that school will be canceled Tuesday due to the storm. The Santa Barbara County Office of education also recently confirmed all 20 school districts in the county would be closed. 

“Based on extreme and unpredictable weather conditions expected in the morning hours, and continued road closures and flooding, county Sheriff, Fire and EOC (Emergency Operations Center) officials advised schools to close tomorrow,” the education office’s website stated. 

The rain has caused evacuations in Montecito, and other areas prone to flooding. The flash flood warning issued by the county was originally set to expire at 4:45 p.m. Monday but was extended to 12 a.m. Tuesday night. 

Students waiting for rides on Monday were directed to the EPAC after the early dismissal, and teachers were asked to close their classrooms around 2:45. Administrators worked to secure rides for students either via public transportation, or by a staff member. 

The maximum impact from the rain is expected to occur between 6 a.m. and noon Tuesday, according to the district website. 

The website stated that the district considered staffing availability, challenges with MTD, the California Emergency Declaration, and road closures when deciding to close schools on Tuesday. 

Today also marks the five-year anniversary of the Montecito mudslides, which were caused by intense rain in January 2018. 

The rain caused flooding throughout Santa Barbara, as well as mud and rockslides causing the closure of Highway 154, a portion of Highway 192, and a section of Highway 101 in north Santa Barbara County. 

“We will continue to monitor this developing situation and will continue to provide updates as they become available,” the SBUSD website says. “Please continue to monitor ParentSquare, email, and our website for more information.”


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