Photo by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

Amid the loss and destruction from the deadly flooding in Santa Barbara County, there’s an effort to create a vision for rebuilding.

People who live and work in and around the Montecito area are being asked to voice their thoughts on how to rebuild.

More Santa Barbara County residents can return home now that additional evacuation orders have been lifted following the deadly flooding.

Mail service is returning to some residents impacted by the flooding in Santa Barbara County.

U.S. Postal Service says it will be delivering mail 24 hours after the evacuations are lifted in impacted mudslide areas. The Montecito Post Office is set to reopen with full retail services on Monday.

(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.

About a dozen beaches along the South Coast are closed due to contamination caused by the destructive storm earlier this month.

Ocean water samples were tested, and the results revealed high levels of bacteria.

(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.

A vigil will be held Sunday evening in Santa Barbara County to remember those who were killed and others who have been impacted by the devastating flooding.

A group of leaders that represent Montecito organized this event. It will take place at 5 pm on Sunday at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara.

Victims of the deadly mudslides that hit Santa Barbara County last week will be getting much needed help.

The United Way of Santa Barbara County and the United Way of Ventura County created the Thomas Fire Fund, which they have now re-established as the Thomas Fire and Flood Fund. The money will pay for basic essentials and beyond.

(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.

(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.

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

Five deaths have been confirmed as a result of flash floods, debris flows and mudslides in the Montecito area early Tuesday morning.

A number of homes were destroyed, or damaged as a result of the storm.

Firefighters, and other public safety workers also rescued a number of people, including a 14 year old girl who was trapped in the debris of a damaged home.  Helicopters were used as part of the rescue effort.

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

Highway 101 has been completely closed by flooding in the Montecito area Tuesday morning by the big storm hitting the Central and South Coasts, with authorities having to rescue some people trapped in their vehicles.

The flooding happened during the 5 a.m. hour.  The southbound 101 is closed at Milpas Street in Santa Barbara, and northbound the closure starts at Highway 126 in Ventura.  Thousands of vehicles on the 101 were diverted, and turned around in  the Rincon area.

Santa Barbara County officials made a local emergency proclamation as a result of the storm.

Monday’s declaration sets the stage for possible state, and federal assistance for flooding. The proclamation says more than 25,000 people are currently affected by mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders in the county.

County Supervisors are expected to formally ratify the declaration when they meet Tuesday.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The first significant storm of the year to hit the Central and South Coast has prompted massive evacuation orders for parts of the region.

Forecasters say the storm could bring two to four inches of rain to coastal and inland areas, and four to seven inches in foothills and mountains between now, and Tuesday morning.

The biggest concern is the potential for locally heavy rainfall, with rainfall rates of a half inch to inch an hour hitting mountain slopes and foothills stripped bare by recent brush fires.

Even as firefighters continue efforts to get full containment of the massive Thomas brush fire, public safety officials are gearing up for possible flooding, and debris flows from the first big storm of the season.

Intense rainfall could be on the way for the Central and South Coasts early next week, not good news in the wake of fire stripping many mountain slopes near homes.

Photo by FEMA

Some South Coast homeowners may soon be forced to purchase flood insurance as federal officials create new coastal flood maps.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA has used new technology and data to create revised draft flood maps for the Ventura County coast.

Sergio Vargas with the County Watershed Protection District says some properties have been removed from the floodplain while other properties have been included for the first time.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

A South Coast airport and a major highway reopens, but some flooding issues persist as the storm tapers off on Saturday.

The Santa Barbara Airport -- that had to shut down Saturday afternoon because part of its main runway flooded -- has reopened. Officials say runways were reopened to all aircraft at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, but travelers are warned that standing water is still an issue on roads leading to the airport.

A portion of Highway 101 on the South Coast, which was closed for more than six hours by storm flooding on Friday afternoon, is finally open.