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Flash flood destroys cabins, vehicles in Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County Fire Dept.
Flash flooding in El Capitan Creek destroyed vehicles and cabins, but caused no injuries.

State park personnel and firefighters evacuated two dozen people trapped by a flash flood that destroyed cabins and vehicles Friday in El Capitan Canyon. The steep and narrow canyon is home to a private campground above El Capitan State Beach in Gaviota, about 20 miles northwest of Santa Barbara. 

According to Santa Barbara County Fire Department Captain Dave Zaniboni, around 9:30 Friday morning, the county fire department received reports of people trapped in one of the cabins submerged in the swollen El Capitan Creek.

Five cabins lifted off their foundations and were tumbled down the canyon, along with 15 cars. Nobody was injured.

El Capitan Canyon is resort 200 cabins and safari tents. The area is under a mandatory evacuation order and the Red Cross has opened a shelter to house area flood victims at the San Marcos High School in Goleta.