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Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 7:54 am | Fair 42º


Montecito Flooding Updates, Resource List

Updates for ongoing utility outages, evacuations, Highway 101 closure, reports of damaged and destroyed homes, and how to help

This story was last updated at 5:00 p.m. Monday.

Twenty Montecito residents have died in the mudslides and flooding, and the response has shifted from rescue to recovery

Caltrans said Monday that Highway 101 would not reopen for at least another week, as crews work to clear mud and debris. 

An operational map of the area shows where homes have been damaged or destroyed, and the status of the search and recovery efforts.  

Santa Barbara County also released an interactive map of storm damage, including damaged and destroyed homes. 

There will be a community meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday at La Cumbre Junior High Schools auditorium, at 2255 Modoc Rd.

Utility outages in Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria 

There were widespread outages reported for power, gas, water, phone and internet service this week, with some restoration as of Sunday.  

The Montecito Water District system has major storm damage, including breaks in water mains and the "highline" transmission pipe along its storage reservoirs.

Repairs are underway but outages are expected to last a while, according to the district. 

A boil-water notice has been issued for any district customers who do have water service, but the notice was rescinded Monday for Summerland-area customers, where water is safe to drink.

Click here for an interactive map of the water district's service boundary.

There are three emergency potable water distribution sites, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, the district said: the Summerland Post Office, 2245 Lillie Ave.; the Montecito Fire Station at Cold Spring and Sycamore Canyon Road; the shopping center at southwest corner of East Valley Road and San Ysidro Road (Upper Village). The shopping center site is within the mandatory evacuation zone and is not for public access, but is for people working in the area, the district noted.

On Sunday, the district said there was still no timeline for repairs and service restoration, but updated its repair priority list: "highline" transmission main repairs at six sites; main break repairs to the pipe between Jameson Lake and Doulton Tunnel, at two sites; multiple main breaks; multiple service break repairs; and system disinfection and sampling as the last step. 

The good news is that the South Coast Conduit appears intact, according to the county.

The South Coast Conduit conveys water from Lake Cachuma to Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria. 

Water agencies thought it may have been damaged in the storm, and it stopped deliveries to Montecito and Carpinteria water districts Tuesday.

It was tested and appears intact, according to the county, and started delivering water to the Ortega Ridge Reservoir, which supplies Summerland, on Thursday. 

Southern California Edison and SoCalGas both have significant infrastructure damage in the area as well, and ongoing outages. 

Edison said in an update Friday that about 1,500 customers in Montecito have no power and should be prepared for "extended outages."

The company also said crews have limited access to the area for damage assessments and repairs to the damaged poles, transformers and wires. 

"At this time, we cannot estimate restoration time for the Montecito Substation until access to the impacted area is granted for damage assessment teams. ​Power restoration for customers in the area will depend on safe access to affected areas, the conditions of the impacted areas (stability of the soils), and the ability for crews to be able to work safely," Edison said in a statement on its website.

SoCalGas said a transmission pipeline broke and they were turning off gas to Montecito areas while repairs were made. 

SoCalGas has “temporarily interrupted natural gas service” to Montecito areas north of Highway 101, at the request of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department for safety of people working in the area, the company said Sunday. A map of impacted areas is available online here

“Residents in the Montecito area can expect to be without natural gas service until all safety work, damage assessment and repair work are completed. Approximately 3,600 customers have been impacted by the temporary service interruption,” the company said.

Customers in the Montecito and Summerland areas can report suspected gas leaks and suspected damage to gas facilities by calling 1.800.427.2200 or 9-1-1 from a safe location, SoCalGas said. 

Customers seeking specific information about their natural gas service can call SoCalGas at 1.877.238.0092.

Cox Communications had widespread outages this week for phone, internet and cable service, and the company said Saturday night that services have been restored to many of its customers, “and our teams are still working on getting 100 percent of our customers up.” 

Many of the Summerland and Carpinteria areas that had relatively minor storm damage have lost phone, cable and internet service, which contributed to the communities' isolation after the flooding.

Mandatory evacuations

A larger portion of Montecito has been given mandatory evacuation orders, meaning residents are asked to leave and will not be allowed back in until the order is lifted. The order could last as long as two weeks, Sheriff Bill Brown said Thursday.

Evacuations warnings were being lifted at noon Saturday for Summerland and Carpinteria, according to Incident Commanders overseeing the Montecito flooding response.

The affected areas are south of Highway 192/Foothill Road between Ortega Ridge Road and the Santa Barbara County line to the east; and areas north of Highway 192/Foothill Road east of Toro Canyon Road.

Click here to view the interactive map of the evacuation order areas. 

Evacuation orders and warnings (voluntary) for communities near the Whittier Fire, Sherpa Fire and Alamo Fire have not changed since Monday, although there was no reported major damage. 

The orders in western Goleta Valley were not being enforced and there were no staffed road closures as of Friday. 

An evacuation shelter has been open at Santa Barbara City College since last week, but the location moved to San Marcos High School at 4750 Hollister Ave. as of Monday. 

Call 805.681.4332 for help evacuating large and small animals. 

Highway and road closures

U.S. Highway 101 will not reopen Monday, according to Caltrans District 5, and there is no estimate for when the closure will end. 

On Monday, officials said the roadway would not reopen for at least a week.

The closure is in effect between Milpas Street in Santa Barbara on the north end and State Route 150 in Carpinteria on the south end. 

Southbound lanes are open south of Padaro Lane, and southbound freeway onramps have reopened beginning at Evans Avenue in Summerland and heading south, according to CHP Capt. Cindy Pontes.

Click here for roadway conditions from Caltrans and here for information on local road closures as of Friday.

Caltrans and the CHP suggest using Highway 46 (near Paso Robles) to connect with I-5 from Highway 101, since it has four lanes and a wide median, unlike Highway 166. 

Many roadways were covered in debris or damaged by the storm, and Santa Barbara County Public Works has closures on its website here

Amtrak has resumed passenger rail service between Santa Barbara and Ventura, and there is ferry service between the Santa Barbara and Ventura harbors from Island Packers and Condor Express.

Montecito Post Office, library branch remain closed

The Montecito Post Office at 1470 E. Valley Road is closed and Montecito customers can get their Post Office box mail and other services at the East Beach Post Office at 107 Nopalitos Way in Santa Barbara.

The Summerland Post Office, at 2245 Lillie Ave., will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 16, according to the USPS.

was also closed as of Monday, but customers could start picking 

The Summerland Post Office located at 2245 Lillie Ave, Summerland, CA 93067 remains closed due to the recent mudslides.

Even though Summerland Post Office is normally closed on Saturdays, customers can begin picking up their mail from Summerland Post Office on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 12 noon. Retail services will commence on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

The Montecito library branch remains closed indefinitely since it is within the mandatory evacuation zone. 

How to help

The United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County fundraising effort for fire victims has been expanded to include flood victims, the organizations said this week. 

All donations to the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund go directly to people impacted by the disasters, they said. 

As of this week, about $2.7 million has been raised for the fund. 

Donations can be made online here, by texting UWVC to 41444; by calling the Ventura office at 805.485.6288 or Santa Barbara office at 805.965.8591. 

People can also send in checks directly, with "Thomas Fire Fund" in the memo. 

The United Way of Santa Barbara County: 320 E. Gutierrez St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. 

The United Way of Ventura County: 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100, Ventura, CA 93003.  

"Firefighters greatly appreciate that the community wants to make donations of food, clothing, and money, but they want the community to know that they are adequately taken care of and ask that you donate to disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross, Foodbank of Santa Babara County, etc.," the county said. "Do not bring donations to the Incident Command Post."

Nonperishable food, new clothing, toiletries and monetary donations are being accepted at the following agencies, but used clothing, bedding and toys are not being accepted: 

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County: Monetary donations, nonperishable foods, and fresh produce are accepted at:

4554 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara
1525 State St., Ste 100, Santa Barbara
490 W. Foster Rd., Santa Maria

Salvation Army: Unopened and canned food and monetary donations are accepted at 423 Chapala St., Santa Barbara.

Unity Shoppe: New clothing, shoes, blankets, toiletries and monetary donations are accepted at 1401 Chapala St., Santa Barbara.

Monetary donations can also be made to agencies supporting the disaster response for the Montecito Flood, including the American Red Cross and Direct Relief

"If you are wanting to financially support the incident, please be advised that individuals often take advantage of the situation by setting up false GoFundMe websites and other types of fundraising accounts that are not legitimate," Santa Barbara County officials noted. "If you are interested in donating to help in an incident, call and verify that the beneficiary is authentic."​

Public Health warns people to avoid contaminated ocean water 

The Public Health Department closed all ocean waters between Gaviota Beach and Rincon point because of high contamination levels in the water, but altered the order after more testing Friday.

Beaches to remain closed include: Butterfly Beach, Carpinteria State Beach, East Beach at Mission Creek, East Beach at Sycamore Creek, El Capitan State Beach, Goleta Beach, Hammonds, and Summerland Beach. 

Public Health said Sunday that based on test results, the following ocean water beaches will be open: Guadalupe Dunes, Jalama Beach, Arroyo Burro Beach,Gaviota State Beach, Refugio State Beach,Leadbetter Beach, Sands Beach at Coal Oil Point and Hope Ranch Beach. 

Mud and sediment from the Montecito flooding is being collected and dumped at disposal sites as part of the clean-up effort, including Goleta and Carpinteria beaches, according to the county.

"Out of an abundance of caution, in support the recovery and mitigation process, the Public Health Department urges the public to respect the buffer zone of 400 feet of beach area on both sides where sediment from the mud flows are being placed. The public is asked to avoid this buffer zone," officials said Sunday.

"The mudslides and runoff from this week’s heavy rain contains unknown amounts of untreated sewage and chemical contaminants."

Click here for more information.

Free tetanus vaccinations

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and Direct Relief are offering free tetanus (Tdap) vaccinations to people exposed to flood water and debris after the Montecito mudslides and flooding.  

Tdap vaccines protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches or wounds, and the risk of wounds increases following a flood or mudslide and during clean-up, organizations said. 

Staff from the Neighborhood Clinics will administer the vaccines, which were donated by Direct Relief, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, at clinic sites including: 

Eastside Neighborhood Clinic, 915 N. Milpas Street in Santa Barbara

Westside Neighborhood Clinic, 628 Micheltorena Street in Santa Barbara

Goleta Neighborhood Clinic, 5580 Calle Real in Goleta

​Isla Vista Neighborhood Clinic, 970 Embarcadero Del Mar in Isla Vista

How to get more information

Santa Barbara County's storm updates page includes phone numbers for the call center established to help people locate loved ones, get evacuation assistance, or for other information. 

People can call 833.688.5551 or text 805.699.0165. 

A family assistance center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. in Santa Barbara, and is staffed by law enforcement, Red Cross, Behavioral Wellness, Social Services and Public Health county staff. 

​Residents can also sign up for emergency alerts through the Santa Barbara County Aware & Prepare program here, and call 2-1-1 for storm-related information. 

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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