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Despite drought fears, idea of rain scares some

California may be in a growing drought, but the idea of more rain scares Southern Californians who lived through recent mudslides.

Cayla Stretz, a hostess working at a Santa Barbara beach restaurant, said Thursday she knows California needs rain. But Stretz says another mudslide like January's would be awful.

A national drought monitor now shows Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties have fallen back into a severe drought and 44 percent of the state is in a moderate drought.

The area's first significant rain in months spurred mudslides last month that killed 21 people in Southern California. Tourism business is down and some people are still digging out their homes.

Stretz says part of her feels safer with the current forecast of 70s and 80s and no rain.

A U.S. agency says more of California is rapidly plunging back into drought, with severe conditions now existing in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties - home to one-fourth of the state's population.

The weekly report released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor also shows 44 percent of the state is now considered to be in a moderate drought.

It's a dramatic jump from just last week, when the figure was 13 percent.

A drought state of emergency was lifted in California less than a year ago. A rainy winter snapped a deep five-year drought that forced water conservation.

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