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Santa Barbara County staff, emergency agencies and the National Weather Service are monitoring a storm system headed toward the Central Coast, but no evacuations were anticipated as of Thursday afternoon, county officials reported.

Showers are expected in the region beginning late Saturday afternoon and continuing into Sunday.

As of late Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service was reporting an expected maximum rainfall total of 0.8 to 1.6 inches in foothills and mountains with intensity levels expected to be 0.2 to 0.4 inches per hour. There is a 20-percent chance that the intensity level will exceed the threshold — half-inch of rain per hour — that triggers debris flows, according to county officials. No thunderstorms are expected during the storm.

Emergency officials are actively monitoring the storm and said they will take the steps necessary to inform the public if the storm increases in intensity. Residents and businesses are asked to monitor weather reports and emergency announcements.

For weather updates, visit www.weather.gov and enter a city or zip code for local forecasts.

Persons living in or near burn areas are encouraged by county officials to have emergency kits and evacuation plans ready in advance.

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For storm readiness tips, visit www.readysbc.org.

Storm readiness information is also available in Spanish at www.readysbc.org/es.

This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at wjacobson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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