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Utility company sues Santa Barbara County over Montecito mudslide

Posted at 4:54 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-19 01:58:09-05

Southern California Edison (SCE) is suing Santa Barbara County and other state and local agencies for failing to prepare for the Montecito mudslide, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

SCE itself is facing dozens of lawsuits for allegedly sparking the Thomas Fire which left the mountainsides above Montecito bare and susceptible to a mudslide.

Twenty-three people were killed and hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed on Jan. 9, 2018 when a heavy storm unleashed a torrent of mud and debris on the coastal community.

According to the LA Times, SCE alleges that the agencies had been warned for decades of the vulnerability of the slopes above Montecito and didn’t take appropriate action to mitigate the threat of a catastrophic mudslide. The utility company reportedly wants the county and other agencies to share in any liabilities it faces related to the mudslide.