SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A unanimous Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has voted to approve an emergency restoration project for the lower Santa Maria River near Guadalupe.
The massive construction project, which could cost up to $8 million, is expected to take months to complete and will re-direct the river's water flow away from the City of Guadalupe.
Heavy rains in the past year saw the lower reaches of the Santa Maria River burst its banks flooding homes in Guadalupe, surrounding farm fields and force the closure of public access to the Guadalupe Dunes County Park.
Santa Barbara County Public Works says the short-term emergency work in the riverbed needs to begin as soon as possible before the arrival of anticipated and forecasted El Nino rains later this year.
Long-term solutions to the flooding threat from the Santa Maria River remain unresolved.
Santa Barbara County says it will seek funding reimbursement from federal government agencies as well as the California Office of Emergency Services or CAL-OES.