NewsLocal News


Clean-up efforts are underway in Santa Barbara County after storm leaves behind mud and debris

At the intersection of North Jameson St. and Olive Mill Rd., crews were using shovels and bulldozers to clear out piles of mud.
Posted at 6:49 PM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 22:49:46-05

After a long night of steady rainfall, the Montecito Creek looked less full on Tuesday than it did the day before; however, it still had plenty of debris.

Fire crews were in Montecito assessing the creeks while public works had crews working around-the-clock to clean up the roads.

At the intersection of North Jameson St. and Olive Mill Rd., crews were using shovels and bulldozers to clear out piles of mud.

Montecito resident Tricia Pennestri took her dogs Chloe and Princess for a walk after a Monday full of uncertainty.

“We all rushed to pick up our kids,” said Pennestri. “Those that couldn’t we picked up their kids for them and just arranged meeting places.”

Pennestri and her family braved out the storm and sheltered in place.

“We just batten down the hatches and put up sandbags, so that water wouldn’t come in or overflow our area,” explained Pennestri. “We were emptying our pool with buckets, so it wouldn’t overflow into the house and just stayed awake.”

In Santa Barbara, residents woke up flooded areas and breezy conditions.

The Santa Barbara Airport was closed until Tuesday afternoon due to flooding.

Charlie Myers is one of those impacted travelers. Myers said he came to the Central Coast for a wedding and was stranded trying to return to Sacramento.

“I’m actually coming back from Lompoc, and we were heading down and we barely made it through, it was completely flooded all the way from the 101 it was completely closed,” explained Myers. “My friend and I, we got stuck down here; I’m trying to fly out and just found out all flights are canceled.”

At the Santa Barbara Harbor, there were puddles everywhere, remnants of the mighty storm.

Despite the many closures, one restaurant made sure to keep its doors open.

“We want to take care of people who have been displaced all of a sudden. You needed to evacuate your home and come to wherever and you need food, we hope to provide that,” said Chad Stevens, the owner of Chad’s Cafe. “I told my staff that if they couldn't make it, I understand, but if you can, we’re here to help the community.”

There was a long line of vehicles on Cabrillo Blvd. as people tried to make their way back to the Montecito area. It was also an alternative route given that Southbound Highway 101 between Milpas St. and SR 150 remained closed into the afternoon.

Highway 101 was back open by early Tuesday evening.