Thousands in California ordered to evacuate over threat of mudslides

PHOTO: Santa Barbara County Firefighters haul dozens of pounds of hose and equipment down steep terrain below E. Camino Cielo to extinguish smoldering hot spots in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Dec. 19, 2017.PlayMike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP
WATCH Record-breaking cold expected to end for East Coast

Officials have ordered thousands of people who were affected by recent wildfires in Southern California to evacuate as an upcoming winter storm poses a threat for mudslides and flash floods.

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Mandatory evacuations were issued for about 7,000 people in mountainous areas affected by the Thomas, Whitter, Sherpa and Rey fires, according to the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management. Another 23,000 people were under evacuation warnings, officials said.

PHOTO: Torched hills from the Thomas wildfire burns in Carpinteria, Calif. on Dec. 11, 2017. The fire destroyed hundreds of homes and prompted massive mandatory evacuations. Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto/Sipa via AP
Torched hills from the Thomas wildfire burns in Carpinteria, Calif. on Dec. 11, 2017. The fire destroyed hundreds of homes and prompted massive mandatory evacuations.

PHOTO: Rainfall forecast through Tuesday.ABC News
Rainfall forecast through Tuesday.

The storm is the West Coast's first significant winter storm of the season, and heavy rain and strong winds are expected in the area through Tuesday, bringing "strong potential" for flash flooding and mud in areas where wildfires recently burned through, according to Santa Barbara County officials.

Down the coast, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has issued mandatory evacuations for several neighborhoods, including Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon and Little Tujunga Canyon, which were all affected by the Creek fire last month.

Flash flood watches are in effect from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara County, and a wind advisory is in effect for the San Francisco area, according to the National Weather Service.

PHOTO: Significant storm Tuesday, 4AM PT.ABC News
Significant storm Tuesday, 4AM PT.

High wind warnings have also been issued for parts of the Bay Area, which could experience wind gusts of up to 60 mph. Winter storm warnings are in effect for parts of the Sierra Mountains and down Southern California to the mountains of San Bernardino and San Diego counties.

PHOTO: Significant storm current alerts.ABC News
Significant storm current alerts.

The bulk of the rain in Southern California will fall early Tuesday and into the afternoon. The showers are expected to clear by Tuesday night.

Further east, a new storm system is set to bring snow, sleet and freezing rain to parts of the Midwest and East today, meteorologists said.

PHOTO: An overnight 5 alarm fire in the Dorchester neighborhood was fought in icy cold temperatures and high winds, Boston, Jan. 7, 2018.John Cetrino/EPA
An overnight 5 alarm fire in the Dorchester neighborhood was fought in icy cold temperatures and high winds, Boston, Jan. 7, 2018.

Despite a break from the record-setting cold, the National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories for parts of those regions, warning that icy weather could create slippery road conditions.

PHOTO: Fishing trawlers sit on the frozen harbor of Lake Montauk surrounded by thin sheets of ice, Jan. 7, 2018, in Montauk, N.Y. Julie Jacobson/AP
Fishing trawlers sit on the frozen harbor of Lake Montauk surrounded by thin sheets of ice, Jan. 7, 2018, in Montauk, N.Y.

PHOTO: A man walks pass snow accumulated on the sidewalk as the Flatiron Building is pictured during freezing temperatures. Jan. 7, 2018, in New York City.Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images
A man walks pass snow accumulated on the sidewalk as the Flatiron Building is pictured during freezing temperatures. Jan. 7, 2018, in New York City.

The storm could bring 1 to 3 inches of snow to some parts of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and New England, meteorologists said.

PHOTO: Ice floats in the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan with Jersery City, N.J., visible across the river, Jan. 7, 2018, as bitterly cold temperatures continued through the weekend in New York. Kathy Willens/AP
Ice floats in the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan with Jersery City, N.J., visible across the river, Jan. 7, 2018, as bitterly cold temperatures continued through the weekend in New York.

To the south, an icy mix could bring a glaze of ice to eastern Kentucky, Tennessee and northern Georgia.

In Atlanta, which typically avoids freezing weather, the National Weather Service said residents had begun to report “slick spots” in areas where light freezing rain began to fall earlier today. Total ice accumulations of less than one-tenth of an inch were predicted.

PHOTO: Winter blast radar.ABC News
Winter blast radar.

Parts of Interstate 75 were shut down in northern Georgia because of crashes and icy roads, which apparently contributed to a major pileup the Varnell Police Department tweeted about this morning.

The weather has caused airports to cancel and reschedule flights.

Major carriers like Delta, American and United offered waivers for passengers affected by the backlog.

The storm is not forecast to be a major one, but it could cause hazardous and difficult travel conditions in parts of the Midwest and East, the National Weather Service said.

ABC News' Jennifer Harrison, Julia Jacobo, Michael Kreisel and M.L. Nestel contributed to this report.

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