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County crews focus on debris basin for Carneros Creek

Santa Barbara County Flood Control crews spent much of Tuesday dealing with the muddy mess left behind from Friday’s big soaker.

Their main target was the debris basin linked to the Carneros Creek in Goleta, in hopes of keeping it from overflowing during the next big winter storm.

The flowing creek near Goleta Beach was much calmer Tuesday than it was Friday; the raging waterway, prompted work crews to spend days using earth-movers to remove debris from the basin.

“We have been out here for four days, taking out the mud in the creek right here and putting it in piles causing a dam,” said Brandon Zermeno, who works with OST Trucks and Cranes, Inc. out of Venura.

The contracted company will remain out at the Carneros Creek until things clear up.

“It depends on the rain,” Zermeno said. “It could be another week … it just depends.”

The basins overflowed after last week’s storm, which brought between 6 and 7 inches of rain in most areas.

“So what we are looking at right now is the de-silting of the Carneros Creek basin,” said Lael Wageneck, a
specialist with Santa Barbara County Public Works. “What this basin does is that it catches all the junk that
comes down the creek. What we are doing right now is taking all that junk out of the basin, then the crane
will then place it to the side.”

The large pile on the side came after days of work. The pile of mud will remain here until the water drains out,
then will be transported back to Goleta Beach.

“We are just trying to get all the sandy material out and when the soil gets dark we know we got back to the original soil that was there in the first place,” Zermeno said.

Flood control crews expect to remove nearly 3,000 cubic yards of debris this week.

“That’s why we are out here,” Wageneck said. “Keeping it clear so that the water can continue to flow out to the slough and out to the ocean without any problems.”

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