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20 Guadalupe homes damaged, community displaced after heavy rainfall

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Posted at 7:19 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 14:12:08-05

Knocked-down fences, scattered destroyed belongings, and tons of mud line the homes on Pioneer Street in Guadalupe.

Two nights following Monday’s heavy rainfall, neighbors we spoke with say the past week has been overwhelming and stressful, but that they are now taking steps to get back on their feet.

“The thing is, I can’t explain it because it happened when I was sleeping,” said Jose Cabrera, one of the many people living on Pioneer Street who had their homes flooded. “The water was halfway to the door.”

“Monday night, around 10:50 pm I believe, I was in the living room with my brother when I felt water under my feet,” added Trevor Lamberson, who lives across from Cabrera.

Lamberson says when he walked outside to his front yard, he saw cars fully submerged and their belongings drifting through the neighborhood.

“All our furniture gone, the backyard, behind our RV, the gate is completely destroyed. My mom’s car was completely covered in water, and it was on the street. That’s how bad it was!” Lamberson recalled.

“The dryer, the generators, the television, the fridge, all have been destroyed.” added Cabrera.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department says in total, 20 people were displaced, including a 79-year-old man who was airlifted to safety by helicopter.

On Wednesday, crews with Santa Maria-based contractor, V-Lopez were on Pioneer Street, clearing the roadway and working to prevent additional damage from future rainfall.

“Hopefully the next storm coming in is not as bad, so this same situation doesn’t happen. Basically, a lot of it is coming from out in the fields because all these houses are backed right up to the farm fields.” said equipment operator, Jerry Arthur.

Trevor Lamberson and his family meanwhile, have been working tirelessly to get their house back to the way it was before the storm.

“It is mostly just getting the mud away, so we are not slipping and sliding; and then recovering any furniture that we can, that is not damaged and destroyed,” Lamberson said.

Wednesday morning, KSBY heard from the County of Santa Barbara’s public works department, who said one of their levees along the Santa Maria River suffered damage as water levels overflowed during this week’s rainfall. However, they add that the damage seen among the homes on Pioneer Street was not related to the levee incident, but due to the fact that they are lower in elevation.

County officials add that they had crews at the damaged levee between Highway 1 and Bonita School Road, where they made repairs and worked to prevent further damage ahead of the upcoming rain.