cal coast news

The kitchen is busy at Montecito’s Honor Bar restaurant.

For the first time in two weeks, the stoves are fired up, the servers are filling orders, and most importantly, there are people here, eating lunch. Montecito’s main business district, Coast Village Road, reopened to the public at noon on Tuesday, two weeks to the day after the community was hit by massive flooding.

While parts of Montecito, as well as Coast Village Road have reopened to the public in the wake of the January 9th flooding, access still remains limited in a number of areas.

A half dozen Highway 101 on and offramps in the Montecito area remain closed.

There’s good news for some Montecito residents Tuesday, with plans to lift some voluntary and mandatory evacuation warnings and orders.

(Caltrans District 5 photo)

Monday marks  the first full day of a major milestone in Santa Barbara County’s post flood recovery efforts, with Highway 101 reopened in Montecito.

A number of freeway on and offramps remain closed in the Montecito area, but traffic has been moving through the area well, aside from expected morning and afternoon backups.

The number of places where Thomas Fire, and flood victims can get aid, and information has expanded.

FEMA now has aid centers up and running in Ventura County.

The City of Ventura is looking at taking a number of emergency steps to help residents who lost their homes to the massive Thomas brush fire.

More than 500 homes in the city were destroyed by the 282,000 acre inferno.

The body of one of the three still missing people from the January 9th flooding in Santa Barbara County has been discovered, bringing the death toll to 21, with two people still missing.

A search and recovery dog team found the body of a woman on the 100 block of Santo Tomas Lane near Olive Mill Road, above Coast Village Road in Montecito Saturday morning.

(Caltrans photo)

It’s official. Highway 101 is going to reopen in time for the morning commute tomorrow, after being closed for nearly two weeks by flooding in Montecito.

Caltrans officials say they’ll have it open by Monday morning, although they aren’t saying exactly when. It was shut down by the flooding on January 9th which killed 21 people, and left two people missing.

There’s still no word on when the estimated 10,000 evacuees from the Montecito area will be able to return home.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Officials say they’re making a lot of progress towards clearing, and repairing Highway 101 in the wake of the huge January 9th storm which closed it between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara. But, they say as of Friday night, they aren't sure they'll reach a goal of reopening the freeway on Monday.

Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbens says the mud and debris has been removed, and the focus is on clearing drainage systems and repairing damaged infrastructure.  He says they hope to have a better idea of when it will be ready to reopen on Saturday.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

As we hear more about the incredible flooding which hit Santa Barbara County on January 9th, there are lots of stories of heroes who pulled survivors from the floodwaters, bud, and debris.

KCLU's Lance Orozco looks at how helicopter crews stepped up in what were unflyable conditions to save people stranded in dangerous situations.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Even as the first funerals are taking place for flood victims, search and rescue teams continue the grim task of sifting through mud, and debris looking for the remains of three still missing people. 20 people died in the flooding.

Meanwhile, the around the clock efforts to open a closed section of Highway 101 in Montecito continue in the wake of January 9th’s disastrous flooding in Santa Barbara County. Crews are working towards a goal of a Monday reopening.

Other crews are busy in the creek beds and debris basins around Montecito, Summerland, and Carpinteria, trying to get them clear before the next storm arrives.

(Phot by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

The latest information on efforts to repair utilities, and other infrastructure in areas of Southern Santa Barbara County hit by flooding January 9th is that it could be weeks before most services are restored.

They can be playful, intelligent, and yes, vocal, making a noise like a barking dog. Some also consider them to be a nuisance, because they love to hang out on docks and beaches, and gobble up squid, clams, and fish including endangered species like salmon.

No matter what you think about California Sea Lions, a new study shows efforts to protect the once threatened species over the decades have worked, and they have made a huge comeback. But, they may now also face a new threat, from global warming.

(Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara County)

Crews are continuing around the clock efforts in Santa Barbara County to clear Highway 101, and repair damaged roads and utilities in the wake of last week’s deadly flooding.

The death toll remains at 20, and searchers continue to look for three others still missing. 28 were hurt, including two still in critical condition at hospitals. Meanwhile, a center intended to provide one-stop assistance to fire and flood victims opened in Santa Barbara Wednesday.

Santa Barbara County Public Health officials say they’ve been dealing with inaccurate concerns being spread on the South Coast that debris, and storm runoff being moved to landfills, and beaches could be spreading Hepatitis C.

Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer Dr. Charity Dean says Hepatitis C is transmitted when blood from an infected person comes in contact with blood from an uninfected person. It doesn’t spread through food or water. Dean also says it’s unlikely other types of hepatitis could be spread through the storm runoff or debris.

Santa Barbara and Ventura County residents affecting by the Thomas Fire, and/or the flooding can now register for federal assistance through FEMA.

You can call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week to register. Disaster assistance ranges from help with rent, to essential home repairs. There are also grants for uninsured and underinsured personal property losses, and other serious disaster related needs not covered by insurance.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Tuesday marks a week since the rain pounded Santa Barbara’s front country, sending torrents of water into Montecito and causing deadly flooding.

The death toll stands at 20, with three still missing. Search and recovery efforts are continuing.

28 people were treated for injuries at South Coast hospitals, with seven still being treated, and two in critical condition. The latest numbers show that more than 110 homes were destroyed, and more than 240 houses damaged.

Officials overseeing search and rescue efforts into the massive flooding in Santa Barbara say they have made the difficult decision to move into what’s known as a search and recovery mode, which means they don’t expect to find additional survivors.

20 people have died, and four are still missing.

The death toll continues to rise as searchers continue to look for the missing from last Tuesday's deadly flooding in Santa Barbara County.

Search teams found the body of 30 year old Pinit Sutthithepa overnight Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed dead to 20.  The number of people considered missing is now at four.

Caltrans and CHP officials say damage to Highway 101 from Tuesday's flash flood in Santa Barbara County is worse than thought, and the full highway closure in Montecito is now being called "indefinite."

Officials are saying Friday that they’ve found the body of an 18th person who died in Tuesday’s flash flooding in Montecito.

87 year old Joseph Bleckel was among the missing, and is now being confirmed as one of the dead. The number of those still missing remains at five people.

More than 1200 people are now involved in search and rescue efforts in Santa Barbara County, trying to find those still missing.

A new Mandatory Evacuation Order took effect for a big part of Montecito Thursday night.  Santa Barbara county officials say they expanded mandatory evacuations because too many members of the public were on streets, making access difficult for search and rescue teams, as well as utility and road repair crews.

Authorities have released the names of the 20 people known to have been fatally injured in the January 9th flooding in Santa Barbara County.

There are a number of utilities issues for people in the Montecito area in the wake of Tuesday's deadly flooding.

A number of leaks prompted the shutdown of natural gas service to the community, and that’s expected to last for the next few days. Electricity is also out to thousands of customers.

(Photo by Matt Udkow, Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The death toll now stands at 17 people in Santa Barbara County in the wake of Tuesday’s massive storm which triggered flash floods, and debris flows in the region.

16 people are still missing.

There's mixed news about efforts to get Highway 101 back in operation on the South Coast in the wake of Tuesday's big storm.

Caltrans District 5 officials tell KCLU News that the 101 will remain closed in Montecito until at least Monday.  Crews have been busy trying to clear mud and water from the highway from the San Ysidro Road to Hot Springs Road areas.  They also are trying to clear debris trapped in waterways under the roadway.

Wednesday marks the anniversary of another grim rain related disaster on the South Coast.

It was January 10th, 2005 when a massive landslide hit the Ventura County community of La Conchita. 10 people died, and nearly three dozen homes were destroyed or damaged.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

An estimated 30,000 people in Santa Barbara County are currently impacted by evacuation orders of some type related to this week's big storm.

Some 7,000 residents are in a mandatory evacuation area still, and some 23,000 are in the voluntary evacuation zone.

Even for people outside of the direct disaster zone, there are a number of issues related to basic utilities.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire department)

Thirteen people are dead, more than two dozen are hurt, and an unknown number are still missing after a waist-high wall of water and mud rolled through some homes in Montecito early Tuesday morning.

A number of houses were gutted, with rescuers pulling out people trapped under mountains of debris. Helicopters rescued some people who climbed onto the roofs of their homes to escape the torrent of water, and mud.

10 deaths have now been linked to the flu in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties this season.

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department officials say we are having an unprecedented spike in the number of flu cases in the county this year.

Officials confirmed that six people all over the age of 65 have died in the last two weeks in the county as a result of the outbreak of influenza. They say by comparison, last year three people of all ages died from the flu last season in the county.   Four deaths have been confirmed in Ventura County.