debris flow

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire

UPDATE 3/6/19 8 A.M. Evacuation orders are now lifted for all areas of Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said many roads may be impassable or have standing water and mud, but the immediate danger of debris flows has passed.

Around 3,000 Santa Barbara County residents are evacuated  from their homes once again this week. Rainstorms starting Tuesday are expected to be severe enough to potentially cause debris flows and mudslides, especially with already-saturated ground. The forecast prompted Santa Barbara County officials to issue evacuation orders starting at 4 p.m. on March 5 for those who live near or below the Sherpa, Whittier and Thomas Fire burn scars.

SBCOE

An analysis of how Santa Barbara County responded to the December 2017 Thomas Fire and January 9, 2018 Debris Flow was delivered to the Board of Supervisors this week. It’s called the "After Action Report and Improvement Plan." The supervisors heard from a third party about what the county did well in the midst and wake of the disasters, and how it can do better in the future.

Greta Mart/KCBX

It’s been just about nine months since the Montecito Debris Flow killed 23 people and destroyed homes, bridges and roadways. Now that the immediate pain of the disaster has abated a bit, but before too much time passes that people start forgetting, a group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara are studying the disaster in a coordinated effort.

Santa Barbara coast evacuations cancelled

Mar 2, 2018

As of 9:00 a.m. Friday morning, county emergency officials have lifted the mandatory evacuation orders for the Santa Barbara coastal areas; residents are free to return home. The storm has passed with no major damage reported. 

Anjalie Tandon/KCBX

Santa Barbara County officials sent out a warning Tuesday evening of a coming storm that could bring more debris flows to areas scarred by recent fires.  But late Wednesday afternoon, the county said it doesn't plan to upgrade that evacuation warning to mandatory. Instead county officials issued a flash flood watch. 

Greta Mart

Santa Barbara County officials are asking Montecito residents to suggest ideas on how to rebuild. After the January 9 mudslides and debris flow destroyed hundreds of homes and killed at least 21 people, crews have been working around the clock to remove hundreds of tons of mud, dirt and boulders from Montecito’s streets. In the process, county staff are trying to make longer term decisions about what’s next. 

Greta Mart

Besides having to rebuild their homes and community, survivors of the January 9 Montecito debris flows are now wrangling with their insurance companies.