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Crews work near 101 in Montecito to prepare for next storm

Road crews, first responders and residents prepare for incoming storm

MONTECITO, Calif.- Past freeway flooding has given first responders a good idea of the vulnerable areas.

People driving along the 101 through Montecito could see crews at work on Monday, the day before the next forecasted storm.

January's storm caused the temporary closure of the 101 near San Ysidro Creek.

First responders hope to prevent that again.

They are also in meetings working on plans to keep people out of harms way.

The same can be said in Ventura County where the Office of Emergency Services is aware that the anniversary of the first major landslide in La Conchita in 1995 was on March 10.

That slide buried nine homes, but no one died, unlike the deadly slide of 2005.

Rainfall back then was twice the seasonal average.

Santa Barbara Unified School District Public Information Officer Ed Zuchelli said they notified parents that schools will be closed for a day.

"We are closing Santa Barbara Unified Schools on Tuesday, March 14,  because of the rain , we are doing this out of an abundance of caution because we are concerned about the safety of our students coming too and from school," said Zuchelli.

Montecito Fire Protection District Public Information Officer Christina Favuzzi said they are in touch with residents who live near recent burn scars..

"This storm is very similar to what we experienced on January ninth and that is why we are taking a similar response and just evacuating those identified properties on the storm impact map," said Favuzzi.

Firefighters dropped off sand at Lower Manning Park for people who need sandbags.

Members of the Montecito Bucket Brigade filled hundreds of bags for people to pick up for free.

"Helping all these people, seeing smile on their face it make me feel really good about myself," said Sawyer Smythe. The teen said he gets community service hours at Anacapa School for volunteering

Juan Zapate picked up some for a client to make sure his property is protected.

Montecito Mudslide Survivor is ready to move his family out.

"Preparedness is not waiting for news banner on the television. Preparedness it is an everyday behavior," said Farrell.

Farrell and his niece pointed out all the wildflowers in bloom. They said wildflowers are a reminder of the mudflow that proved deadly years ago.

"These are our debris flow flowers we had never seen them five years ago and they are all over the property,"said Farrell.

Farrell is part of Pacific Weather Watch now and said he uses social media to keep his neighbors informed.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
heavy rainfall
la conchita
rainstorm impact
Santa Barbara
santa barbara county
storm preparation
ventura county
Ventura County Office of Emergency Services

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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