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Ventura residents prepare for heavy rainfall: ‘These storms have been the real thing’


VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) — Tree logs and branches washing up on shore are signs that Ventura is still recovering from a powerful storm that hit last month.

With another storm expected to bring the area heavier rain on Wednesday, Ventura Harbor Patrol is issuing a strong warning: Stay out of the water.

“Those logs create a hazard for boating, you really can’t see them at night and really kind of hard to see during the day, too,” said Pat Hummer, the Senior Patrol Officer for Ventura Harbor. “Some of these logs, or trees, they’re not just logs, they’re tree branches. You can file your prop, damage your propeller … and turn your boat into a shish kabob.”

A series of three storm fronts will be pushing through the area this week.

The weakest of the three was felt in the region early Monday, followed by a secondary front was expected to arrive Monday evening into Tuesday.

The early waves of the storm brought some rain, but only at a “moderate” pace compared to the heavy downpours seen late last week. The strongest front is expected late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Forecasters said by the time the storm series ends, most valley and coastal areas would see between 0.75 to 1.25 inches of rain, with some mountain areas receiving up to 3 inches.

“Gusty southwest to west winds are possible for periods of times, especially across the interior portions of the area and mountain areas over the next several days,” according to the NWS.

A wind advisory was in effect until 10 p.m. Monday in the Antelope Monday, but a more serious high wind warning will take effect at 2 p.m. Tuesday and continue until 4 a.m. Wednesday. Forecasters said southwest winds will blow at 25 to 40 mph.

“Ventura always has a problem with wind,” said Alan Jeffrey, a Ventura resident. “We pretty much always have a prevailing wind, but these storms have been the real thing. I mean, it’s a mixed blessing because we desperately need it, but we’re all kind of feeling like, ‘OK, how much is enough?’ But we can’t say that because we still need more.”

Harbor Patrol officers said a wet and rainy Ventura County is normal this time of year as many residents were spotted Tuesday night strolling Main Street with umbrellas.

“We’re just like thankful honestly, like all the plants are getting watered, like the mountains are turning green,” said Mark Lange of Santa Paula.

A powerful storm hit Ventura County last month. In video shared with Eyewitness News in early January, a powerful storm surge slammed through the Ventura Keys harbor, leaving docks mangled and damaged.

Waves tore boats from their moorings, sending them crashing into each other and damaging and destroying dozens of docks.

READ MORE: Storm surge slams through Ventura Harbor, destroying docks and damaging boats

“This last storm that came down was for real,” said Jeffrey. “I think it made us appreciate our natural resources here.”

City News Service, Inc. contributed to this report.


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