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1/9 Debris Flow – Recovery FAQs

1/9 Debris Flow – Recovery FAQs

Updated 4.25.18

Themes:

Road Clean-up and Damage Repairs

Mud remains on the side of many roads. What is the plan to clean this? Who is responsible for clean up?

County Public Works has cleaned most of the shoulders on County-maintained roads. If there are roads that still have mud from the debris flow on the shoulders, it falls under three categories:

  • The road was cleared for use, but some material was left on the shoulders. There are a handful of locations where this is the case. For those, it will be removed as time and resources allow.
  • Mud and/or debris was placed in the road right-of-way by a property owner or by others. In these cases, it is the responsibility of whoever placed it there to remove it.
  • Mud and/or debris is on the side of privately maintained or state-maintained roads. In these cases, it is responsibility of whoever maintains the road.

For questions about a specific County-maintained road, please call the County Maintenance Yard (805- 681-5678) and we will review the location and respond if appropriate.

Several roads are damaged from the constant presence of trucks and heavy equipment. Who will repair the roads?

Some areas will be repaired in conjunction with damage to facilities caused by the debris flow. However, there is no specific funding set aside for truck hauling repair. Absent special funding, roads will be prioritized and repaired following our normal Road Maintenance Annual Plan process. Through this process we prioritize roads annually based on their condition and other factors, including available funding for the area.

If corrective maintenance such as pothole repair or patching is needed, or for more information on the Road Maintenance Annual Plan see our website (http://www.countyofsb.org/pwd/programs.sbc) or call 805- 681-5678.

Debris Removal

Debris from creeks and roads was moved onto my private property. Does the County plan to remove this debris from my property?

Immediately following the 1/9 Debris Flow, first response agencies and the County focused on the removal of debris for emergency search and rescue efforts and from debris basins, creeks and roadways to provide protection from future storms. Ultimately, property owners – not government agencies – are responsible for managing or removing any debris on private property. To assist property owners, the County has worked to make available cost-effective options for how to manage or remove the debris.

The County recommends the following debris management and removal options:

  • Reuse/recycle debris as rebuilding material – Rocks and dirt can be integrated into rebuilding plans. “Homeowners are realizing that some of this natural debris is usable material to elevate their property, which can protect against future flooding,” said Rob Lewin, director of Santa Barbara County’s Department of Emergency Management.  Rocks and large boulders may also be used for landscaping features. FEMA is currently remapping the Montecito area and this information may inform rebuilding efforts. Property owners should consider retaining debris until this is completed.
  • Materials exchange website – The County’s Public Works Department established a free materials exchange website to facilitate the sharing of natural debris (e.g. rocks, dirt). The website allows homeowners, contractors, landowners, farmers and others to connect directly with residents who have materials on their property that need to be removed. Residents can go to www.SBCountyMaterialExchange.com for more information.
  • Contracted material haulers – Materials should be hauled by a permitted hauler or a licensed contractor. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors approved an “emergency debris” rate of $55 per ton for the disposal of mud or mixed loads of dirt, rock and trees. Only franchise waste haulers and other account holders may deposit waste at Tajiguas, which is not open to public dumping. The following haulers are permitted by the County and can serve Montecito:
    • MarBorg Industries (805) 963-1852
    • Waste Management (805) 242-7937
    • Progressive Waste (805) 564-2654

Engel & Gray                 (805) 925-2771

Debris is littering local beaches. Who is responsible for cleaning this debris?

To address this issue, government agencies and non-profits are collaborating to organize beach clean-ups.  The Montecito Center plans to organize a team of volunteers for debris removal from beaches. More information regarding the dates of clean ups will be provided once scheduled.

Insurance

Homeowners are struggling with insurance companies. Some are experiencing rate hikes, policy cancellations and red lining after submitting insurance claims. What assistance is available from the County in dealing with insurance companies?

If consumers have issues navigating the claims process, are experiencing rate hikes and cancellations, or believe their claim was wrongfully denied, they should contact the California Department of Insurance for assistance at 1-800-927-4357 or by visiting www.insurance.ca.gov.  Dave Jones, the State’s Insurance Commissioner,  has issued a formal notice to insurers reminding them of their duty to cover damages as the Thomas Fire is believed to be the cause of the debris flow/mudslide.  This also includes covering debris flow/mudslide damage for policyholders with fire coverage only.

The Montecito Center for Preparedness, Recovery and Rebuilding is also working closely with the California Department of Insurance and has hosted representatives from the Commissioner’s office to assist policyholders.  The County is coordinating additional resources and events and will issue public announcements as events are held. To ensure you receive this information, please sign up for the County’s Recovery eNewsletter at this link.  More information is also available at the Montecito Center at 1283 Coast Village Circle, Montecito, CA 93108, call directly at 805-845-7887, or email the Center at MontecitoCenter@sbcoem.org.  Montecito Center personnel can also assist policyholders with linkage to legal aid and the California Department of Insurance.

Bridges

Several bridges along State Route 192 need repair or replacement. What is the estimated date of completion?

Caltrans is rebuilding and repairing six bridges along State Route 192, including Montecito Creek, Romero Canyon Creek, Toro Canyon and Arroyo Paredon Creek bridges.  Caltrans is nearing completion on the design of the new bridges and continues to move toward construction at an accelerated pace. Caltrans has started the demolition phase and will proceed with construction upon the completion of the relocation and repair of utility lines by Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Companies. Once a bridge has been demolished, the time to construct a new one will be about 8 to 12 months.

The major challenge to rebuild bridges is the coordination of utilities. Disrupting electricity, gas, water and other utilities during the reconstruction must be kept to an absolute minimum. Determining how to do this is being worked on by all the utilities involved.

A contractor has been retained by Caltrans to replace Montecito Creek, Romero Canyon Creek and Toro Canyon bridges at a cost of $20 million with completion anticipated in the spring of 2019. The Arroyo Paredon Bridge replacement is estimated to cost $10 million. There is no estimate when construction will be completed on this bridge.  Caltrans will also replace the bridge rails on the San Ysidro Creek and Toro Creek bridges, which remain open under one-way traffic control via stop and yield signs. For more information, please refer to the Caltrans press release.

Planning Coordination

Is there a mechanism in place to ensure all short- and long-term planning and recovery efforts from multiple groups and stakeholders are working together in a cohesive way? How do they all come together to coordinate while also involving community members? There are concerns about duplication, redundancy and lack of coordination between the various groups involved.

All state, county, city and local district agencies and personnel are working together to help with the recovery process.  This requires continuous communication, joint planning and prioritization of rebuilding tasks.

Several methods are used to involve the community in the decision-making process through surveys, community meetings and workshops.  The County is responsive to the need of property owners facing the challenges of rebuilding through the assignment of Planning and Development Case Managers who work personally with each property owner with destroyed or damaged homes and structures.  These Case Managers will coordinate among property owners and all other County, state, federal, non-profit and other resources.

In addition, First District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams is leading an effort to involve the community in the sharing their vision for the future of Montecito.  In February, Williams encouraged everyone who lives, works, or owns a business in Montecito to complete an online survey and provide their thoughts and ideas about what they would like to see as the process of rebuilding begins. The survey also allowed participants to indicate their desired level of participation in the ongoing planning process.

The Montecito Center for Preparedness, Recovery and Rebuilding serves as a central location for support, information and resources for residents, employees and business affected by the 1/9 Debris Flow.  Various agencies and organizations are co-located at the Montecito Center to ensure communication and collaboration when supporting individuals seeking assistance with the recovery process.

Communications/RadioReady

During the 1/9 Debris Flow, I lost power and was cut off from information. What other options are available to receive information?

All state, county, city and local district agencies and personnel are working together to help with the recovery process.  This requires continuous communication, joint planning and prioritization of rebuilding tasks.

Several methods are used to involve the community in the decision-making process through surveys, community meetings and workshops.  The County is responsive to the need of property owners facing the challenges of rebuilding through the assignment of Planning and Development Case Managers who work personally with each property owner with destroyed or damaged homes and structures.  These Case Managers will coordinate among property owners and all other County, state, federal, non-profit and other resources.

In addition, First District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams is leading an effort to involve the community in the sharing their vision for the future of Montecito.  In February, Williams encouraged everyone who lives, works, or owns a business in Montecito to complete an online survey and provide their thoughts and ideas about what they would like to see as the process of rebuilding begins. The survey also allowed participants to indicate their desired level of participation in the ongoing planning process.

The Montecito Center for Preparedness, Recovery and Rebuilding serves as a central location for support, information and resources for residents, employees and business affected by the 1/9 Debris Flow.  Various agencies and organizations are co-located at the Montecito Center to ensure communication and collaboration when supporting individuals seeking assistance with the recovery process.

During an emergency when the power is out and when critical and timely information must get out to the general public, the County Office of Emergency Management will utilize satellite equipment to regularly communicate with designated County radio stations that have generators and can continue to broadcast.

Every household should have a hand-crank or battery-operated radio in their emergency “Ready Kits.” A hand crank radio is preferable, but if you already own a battery-operated radio, don’t forget to include extra batteries in your emergency ready kit. More information about how to build a family communications plan and emergency kit is available at www.ready.gov.

The stations listed here will transmit this information over their airways in English or Spanish.

Montecito Community Meeting 4/11/18

Contact The County

105 E. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 211