Mudslides through Montecito

Mudslide in Montecito | Photo Courtesy of

The heavy rainfall on Tuesday caused rivers of mud and debris to run through Santa Barbara County, destroying homes in the Montecito community, leaving 15 people dead, 48 people severely injured, and many missing. The continuously growing inch per hour was one of the main causes of this natural disaster. Officials are still trying to find the missing residents as Southern California has been taken over by debris. 

This incident occurred weeks after a massive wildfire destroyed a vast area of land, making the terrain more flood-resistant. The Thomas Fire, the largest fire in California’s recorded history, burned more than 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and is 92% contained.

On the morning of Jan.10, 2018, 300 people were found trapped behind debris in the Roman Canyon area and children and babies had to be pulled from the harsh muds.

Mud fills the interior of a car destroyed in a
rain-driven mudslide | Photo Courtesy of
Time Magazine

The raging mudflow reached from eight to nine feet deep, following community families that were rushed to find safety immediately. The damage is not only applied to citizens’ property and belongings, but to the city itself. Gas mains popped, high-voltage power lines were down, the large aluminum poles holding the power lines were snapped in half, and water was flowing out of water mains and were strained off from fire hydrants. 

Recovery will be difficult, but rescuers hope to relieve families by solving this incident and aiding to this disaster.

Written by Lenie Yoon

Lenie is a junior and a staff writer for the MCSun. She is passionate about ASB, Netflix, and coffee.

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