Following the rainstorms Jan. 9-10 that led to a mandated evacuation, the City of Carpinteria is seeking funding for related damages.

On Jan. 17, the city submitted a list of projects for consideration of public assistance funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, according to a report that Carpinteria Public Works Director John Ilasin presented during Monday’s City Council meeting.

A bike path that leads between Casitas Pass Road and Carpinteria Avenue is closed because of large amounts of debris displacement and accumulation. According to Ilasin, the bike path has been “structurally undermined” and will take at least several months to repair.

“I don’t know the extent of that particular structural damage or undermining of the pavement,” Ilasin said.

Removing the debris around the bike path will take about five working days, Ilasin said. However, improving the structural integrity of the path itself will take much longer.

Debris has been accumulating around 500 feet upstream and 1,000 feet downstream of the Carpinteria Avenue bridge.

The city has an action plan in place to clear the debris from the creek. However, the city still must apply for and be approved for emergency permits as well as apply for a permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Ilasin said he is working with the community development director to prepare permits for the cleanup.

Carpinteria is also working on debris basin clearing.

“The city in partnership with the County of Santa Barbara are working jointly in getting the sediment removal from the basins over to Carpinteria City Beach off of Ash Avenue,” Ilasin said.

According to Ilasin, clearing the basins started last Wednesday. So far, the Santa Monica debris basin has began to be cleared. The Gobernador debris basin sustained more damage, but the extent of the damage has yet to be determined.

The city is hoping to get approval from the county to submit a permit in order to expedite the debris basin clearing process, which the city has not done since 2019. 

During the storm, Carpinteria was put under an evacuation order Jan. 9-10. An emergency shelter was opened at the Carpinteria Veterans’ Memorial Building and was open overnight, according to a report by Program Manager Olivia Uribe-Mutal.

According to Uribe-Mutal, seven volunteers served 30 evacuees who visited the site, helping with anything from food to phone chargers.

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Grace Kitayama, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Grace Kitayama is a Noozhawk staff writer.