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City of Santa Maria cleaning up homeless encampments along riverbed

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Santa Maria city crews began cleaning up abandoned property from homeless encampments in the Santa Maria Riverbed on Thursday.

The city said the cleanup efforts are to protect the public health and safety for the residents of the camps and the surrounding community.

An estimated 40,000-50,000 pounds of abandoned material will be removed from the riverbed and taken to the Santa Maria Regional landfill by the end of clean-up tomorrow, according to city spokesman Mark van de Kamp.

"Notice to vacate" signs with resources on the back side were posted in the area at least 72 hours before crews were set to begin clearing, according to the city.

There were an estimated 35 people living at the riverbed before the signs were posted, van de Kamp said.

The city said it will release more information after the project is complete.

Going forward, crews will begin vegetation maintenance on its roughly 240 acres of land east of the Highway 101 bridge, including trimming along trails, removal of abandoned property in the area, and sign repairs and replacements.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

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Jade Martinez-Pogue

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