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Debris flow net installation begins in canyons above Montecito

Posted at 6:02 PM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 21:54:08-04

Six stainless steel nets that are designed to stop potential debris flows in the Montecito area are now being installed.

The nets are designed to stop rocks and debris in the event of a major mudslide.

The plan is to install the netting above the creeks in Cold Springs Canyon, San Ysidro Canyon, and Buena Vista Canyon.

A group of Montecito residents called The Partnership for Resilient Communities has been raising funds for the project.

According to Pat McElroy, the Executive Director of the group, a helicopter flew equipment into the staging area in San Ysidro Canyon last week, and crews began drilling anchors.

Community members were invited to get a look at the netting during a public event in Montecito back in March. (KSBY photo)


The work has been ongoing this week as well.

McElroy says all of the construction is being done under the supervision of biologists and an engineer.

McElroy expects crews to finish setting up the anchors in San Ysidro Canyon next week. At some point after that, crews will be able to hang the net.

The next step after that is to begin staging in Cold Springs Canyon.

McElroy says although the group has already purchased six nets, the installation can only happen if more funding is secured.

The group has raised roughly $4.3 million so far but needs about $5.2 million to complete the project.

McElroy says the group has enough funds to install the first four nets.

If additional funds are raised, the group would also like to install nets in two other locations.

Donations can be made online.

The group says the project started because residents wanted to do something to prevent future devastation following the deadly Montecito debris flow on January 9 of 2018.

23 people were killed in the mudslide. Two of the victims’ bodies were never found.