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House damaged in Montecito mudslides moved to new lot as neighborhood recovery continues

MONTECITO, Calif. – It was quite the scene in a Montecito neighborhood as an entire house was moved all at once Thursday.

It's in an area that is still rebuilding after the deadly 2018 mudslides.

Erik Eppink is the homeowner of the moving house. He said he's been told the house as a whole weighs 410 tons – just under a million pounds.

The 2018 mudslide flooded and damaged part of this house and property, so Eppink was able to purchase his next-door neighbor’s property and move the house up one lot and 20 feet higher.

“This was our way of saving the house and relocating it outside the floodplain, and above the floodplain," Eppink said.

A Pennsylvania-based moving company lifted the house — secured it with steel beams — and then drove it slowly uphill mainly on steel plates to disperse the pressure on the tires.

The 4-hour project was a major undertaking with crews starting at 8 a.m. and working for the better part of the day.

Eva Eppink, Eric's daughter says the new location will make the home even better.

“I thought we were just going to rebuild it but then they ended up moving it," she said. "So it’s actually really really cool and I feel like it's going to be way better than it was before.”

The move from the bottom of the hill to the top of the property is just one project in the neighborhood that is still recovering from the devastation of the Montecito mudslides.

“Rebuilding on this street is taking a lot of effort. We’re still not there. But those of us who stayed, we’ve really banded together,” said neighbor Curtis Skene.

The next step is to build a new cement foundation under the house. Eppink hopes the project will be completed next spring.

Neighbors are looking forward to that day.

“I can tell you when we’re all finished rebuilding here, there’s going to be one big block party,” Skene said.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Scott Sheahen

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