Monday, February 19 , 2018, 3:57 am | Fair 49º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Operations Map Charts Devastation from Montecito Flooding

Color-coded map indicates which homes have been destroyed or damaged, as well as status of search efforts

Color-coded operations map details the damage and destruction from the Montecito flooding. Click to view larger
Color-coded operations map details the damage and destruction from the Montecito flooding.
A cadaver dog and its handler working in the area of Sheffield Drive and San Leandro Lane. Click to view larger
A cadaver dog and its handler working in the area of Sheffield Drive and San Leandro Lane. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

This story was last updated at 3:32 p.m.

The difficult and at times heart-breaking work of the search-and-rescue and damage-assessment teams in the Montecito flooding area is eventually translated into a deceptively simple color-coded map for use by incident commanders.

The map, which is updated regularly, indicates in detail which structures have been damaged, which ones destroyed, and where primary and second searches have been conducted.

It also shows where search dogs have been utilized — both those that are trained to find people alive and cadaver dogs, who are trained to locate human remains.

Click here to access the map online.

There are 39 search dogs and 15 search-and-rescue teams in the field checking homes and digging through debris piles, according to Jeff Ohs, operations chief for CalFire’s incident management team.

“We remain in rescue mode,” Ohs said at a press briefing Saturday afternoon.

Not surprisingly, the map shows that the bulk of the damage and devastation was in and around the major creek drainages — especially Cold Spring, Hot Springs, Montecito, San Ysidro and Romero creeks, as well as smaller drainages in between.

As images and reports in recent days confirm, the area of Montecito Creek below Highway 192/East Valley Road was the hardest hit, with scores of structures damaged or destroyed.

Of the 65 single-family homes reported destroyed, at least 20 of them are in the Montecito Creek flood plain between East Valley Road and Mesa Road, an area spanning just under 3/4 of a mile that was under a voluntary evacuation warning early Tuesday when the storm hit.

Just south of that there are nearly 160 homes and structures — on both sides of Highway 101 — that were damaged, according to the map.

Santa Barbara County firefighter Tim Wright washes a search dog Saturday after the dog and handler searched the mud and debris for the missing in Montecito. There are 39 K-9’s assigned to the incident. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County firefighter Tim Wright washes a search dog Saturday after the dog and handler searched the mud and debris for the missing in Montecito. There are 39 K-9’s assigned to the incident. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

This includes damage in upscale communities near the ocean such as Bonnymede and Ocean Shores.

At least another 21 homes were damaged or destroyed in and around the area of San Ysidro Creek, mainly south of East Valley Road.

Likewise, there was considerable damage and destruction around Romero Creek and the drainage to the west, above Highway 192.

The map does not distinguish between minor and major damage.

As of Sunday, incident commanders have place the number of single-family homes destroyed in the flooding at 65, with another 462 damaged. There have been eight commercial properties destroyed, and 20 damaged.

At least 20 people have died in the flooding, with at least another 28 injured.

The disaster area covers and estimated 30 scale miles.

Click here for an incomplete interactive map of property inspections.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

Searchers dig through a debris pile off Randall Road on Saturday. Click to view larger
Searchers dig through a debris pile off Randall Road on Saturday. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)
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