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Maintenance crews, community volunteers continue recovery efforts in Orcutt

UVP
Posted at 4:41 PM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 22:36:08-05

On Monday, maintenance crews in Orcutt continued their efforts in repairing and reopening several roads that were impacted by heavy recent rainfall.

Before this past weekend's rainfall hit, Christian Doolittle with the County of Santa Barbara's Public Works Department told KSBY his crews worked to construct a barricade on Union Valley Parkway to prevent further water and debris from running off into the surrounding neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, just steps away on Hibiscus Court, neighbors have pulled together to lend a hand to those who were displaced by the storm.

"I am guessing I am without a home for probably the next two months," said Cindy Green, who has lived at her home on Parkland Avenue for more than 20 years.

She says when last Monday's rainfall hit, her home quickly became submerged in water. She says she and her daughter had to be rescued by firefighters to get to safety.

"It was coming through the walls and as our house was filling up, my daughter and her service dog and I were scared to death," Green recalled. "When they finally came back to us, they had to take us out through the back of the house. They had to carry my daughter, her dog swam, I was in waist-high water at some point."

In the days since, Green says her neighbors have stepped in, asking what they can do to provide support during this difficult time.

"Our house is good, luckily we are blessed there. That is why I told my husband and everyone else, that is where we come in and help," said Jamie Duft of Orcutt.

"Take things out of their homes, see what they need, help people that can’t get out of their driveways to get to doctors’ appointments," added fellow neighbor, Penny Popp.

As for other areas in Orcutt impacted by the storm, Doolittle says the damaged sidewalks on South Bradley Road have been filled in, with repairs also completed along other flooded spots in town.

"There was the Woodmere basin that had some vegetation and debris caught up on the trash racks. Some people have cleared that and it is flowing and functioning back into the storm drain system," Doolittle said.

He says crews will remain on Union Valley Parkway over the next few weeks as they continue making repairs, but that they will likely begin opening up portions of the roadway as progress is made.

Some neighbors also say they have run into trouble filing claims and receiving financial support, but County of Santa Barbara officials say the process varies greatly dependent on your specific circumstances.

The County of Santa Barbara has made local recovery and assistance resources available online through readysbc.org.