Most notably, Lake Cachuma had risen about 25 feet between midnight Thursday and Saturday afternoon, swelled by heavy flows from the Santa Ynez River as well as the many smaller creeks in the watershed.
And there’s much more to come.
Santa Barbara County officials are estimating that, without additional rainfall, the reservoir will continue to rise over the next couple weeks, according to Jon Frye, engineering manager for the county Flood Control & Water Conservation District.
“Conservatively, we think it will come up another 15 to 20 feet,” Frye told Noozhawk at midday Saturday.
At the higher end of that range, Cachuma would be just over 50 percent full — a far cry from its status on Jan. 1, when it was just over 8 percent full.
During Friday’s storm, which dumped more than 9 inches of rain on some mountain locations, the flow into Cachuma peaked at 25,000 cfs, according to Frye.
A rise of 20 feet more in Cachuma’s lake level would still put the reservoir about 35 feet below the point at which it would spill.
Another storm is forecast to roll ashore on the Central Coast on Sunday night and Monday, with a continuing chance of showers into Wednesday.