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2024 winter already has ‘red tagged’ buildings, exposed oil pipes and cliffs crumbling below homes

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – A winter of harsh hits on the Central Coast continues with the expected upcoming storm loaded with rain, wind and ocean swells.

This comes after the year has started off with beach flooding and damages reported in many communities.

Among them, this week, well heads, rarely seen are exposed in Summerland after heavy erosion from storms. Heal the Ocean, an environmental group, said there may be many more now, no longer covered up by the ocean floor. Some are known to be leaking oil from prior drilling projects.

In recent days, there's been a balcony collapse in Isla Vista due to erosion, and a portion of the eastern side of Shoreline Park fell down in Santa Barbara above Leadbetter Beach. That forced the city to fence off the area to the public.

At a town hall meeting this week in Isla Vista, the County of Santa Barbara said two buildings were "red tagged" which means they can not be occupied. Others will need extensive work when the students leave for the summer break.

These are all locations that are known. Many are still being evaluated including along Ortega Hill Road, Sycamore Canyon, TV Hill and the Gaviota Coast.

Hank Rayner was checking out Butterfly Beach Thursday and said, "it feels to me like it is even more noticeable than in years past. (It is) especially shocking just in the last couple of weeks there's literally no sand".     

One piece of the stairway has a large crack in it

Resident Mary Avila said, "we were here last week and I am seeing more things like that  concrete thing down there."

Where coastal cliffs are eroding, Rayner said, "they warn people don't sit under those cliffs!"

Crews have been working specifically to get ahead of the troublespots. "I have been seeing the city workers out there in droves   clearing the trees  getting ready for this next storm and I really appreciate that," said Avila.

(More details, photos and video will be added here later today.)

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Santa Barbara
winter storms

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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