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Officials Lifting Evacuation Orders, Warnings for Some Montecito Areas Including Coast Village Road

Residents and businesses in some western areas of the evacuation zones will be allowed back in as of noon Tuesday, Sheriff Bill Brown said

Sheriff Bill Brown explains plans to allow residents back into some western Montecito areas starting Tuesday afternoon. Click to view larger
Sheriff Bill Brown explains plans to allow residents back into some western Montecito areas starting Tuesday afternoon.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara County will lift some evacuation orders and warnings for Montecito areas starting Tuesday with western areas including Coast Village Road, Sheriff Bill Brown announced at a community meeting Monday. 

The news comes two weeks after the deadly Jan. 9 flash flooding and mudslides that devastated the area and prompted mass evacuations. 

Roughly 725 to 750 parcels in the far western section of the evacuation zone, including a section of Coast Village Road — where a number of businesses are located — will be reopened at noon on Tuesday, Brown said during a community meeting at La Cumbre Junior High School in Santa Barbara.

The evacuation warning will be lifted north of Highway 101, west of Olive Mill Road/Mesa Road/Oak Road, south of Hot Springs Road/Sycamore Canyon Road, east of Eucalyptus Hill Road/El Rancho Road/Camino Viejo Road/Summit Road/Hot Springs Road.

Mandatory evacuation orders will be lifted at noon Tuesday for Ayala Lane, Ashley Road north of Sycamore Canyon Road to the 700 block of Ashley Road east of Cold Spring Road, south of east Mountain Drive to the 800 block of east Mountain Drive.

Santa Barbara County has an interactive map available online that will update at noon Tuesday to reflect changes made to evacuation orders and warnings.

Scroll down to view a map of the repopulation areas. 

“We know that you want to get home," Brown said. “We have a plan to let some people gradually back to their homes.”

On Wednesday, two zones south of Highway 101 are expected to reopen, Brown said.

Brown said officials on Monday hoped to reopen the eastern portion of the evacuation zone, but inspectors found “several” damaged bridges. 

A Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management map showing, in green, the areas where evacuation orders and warnings will be lifted as of noon Tuesday. Click to view larger
A Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management map showing, in green, the areas where evacuation orders and warnings will be lifted as of noon Tuesday. (Santa Barbara County photo)

Bridges in the Toro Canyon area, as well as off Ladera Lane and Parra Grande Lane have been condemned, he said.

“We had a setback,” Brown said. “They have to be replaced. It’s a multi-week, if not multi-month, process. We are looking to develop alternative plans for people who live in Romero Canyon and the southern areas…we have to look at other routes to get them through.”

He previously said the county hopes to get most people home by Jan. 31, although some areas that sustained severe damage will not be accessible by then. 

The “repopulation” process depends on road conditions and utility repairs, among other things, officials have said. 

Authorities are pleading for patience as heavy equipment and large trucks continue driving through Montecito for debris removal, utility repair, and ongoing clean-up efforts.

“We can’t allow everyone to go back in at the same time,” Brown said Monday.

A boil-water notice is in effect for Montecito Water District customers except in the Sycamore Canyon, Summerland and Upper Toro Canyon areas, shown in blue. Click to view larger
A boil-water notice is in effect for Montecito Water District customers except in the Sycamore Canyon, Summerland and Upper Toro Canyon areas, shown in blue.  (Montecito Water District photo)

Heavy law enforcement presence will remain in the evacuation areas to keep the public out of areas that remain closed, Brown said, and residents returning are asked to drive cautiously due to the ongoing presence of truck traffic.

Utility companies continue to make repairs to water, sewer, electricity and gas utilities, and a boil-water notice remains in effect for many Montecito Water District customers

The areas of Sycamore Canyon, Summerland and Upper Toro Canyon have water that is safe to drink, according to the district. 

Santa Barbara County officials urge residents to contact utilities companies directly for restoration assistance and questions.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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.

Jan. 23 Montecito Repopulation Map

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