Montecito Mudslides, California

About 65 homes are destroyed and 17 people reported dead in mudslides across Montecito, California. Mandatory evacuation orders were expanded Thursday evening, Jan 11, to Montecito areas below Highway 192/Foothill road, a move Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said is meant to increase access for rescue and repair crews working in the area.

The orders apply to the previously-defined “public safety exclusion zone,” where crews continued Thursday searching for survivors and victims of the deadly flash floods and mudslides that hit the area early Tuesday morning. All the new orders, effective at 6 p.m. Thursday, are in areas that were previously under evacuation warnings, and many of those neighborhoods suffered major damage.

The Sheriff’s Office has issued additional mandatory evacuation orders in the Montecito area to assist in the Search and Rescue efforts. Please see the interactive map located at

Jan 11 Please stay out of #Montecito this includes everyone. Emergency crews continue search and rescue efforts and clean in those areas. If anyone enters you will be arrested on a misdemeanor. For more info: or call 833-688-5551.Per #SBSO. source

Situation Overview

On January 9, 2018, heavy rain caused severe flooding and mudslides in areas north and adjacent to Highway 101 in Montecito. It affected 30 square miles. As of Jan 12, mudslides, water, and debris have destroyed 65 homes and 8 commercial properties and damaged 462 homes and 20 commercial properties. About 1,500 homes remain under threat. 17 people have died, 28 people are injured, and 5 are missing.

Search and rescue teams are continuing to search buildings and debris flows for people who may be trapped. As of Jan 11, 50 people have been rescued by helicopter and 50 by ground.

Additional mandatory evacuations were ordered on Jan 11 in Santa Barbara County which brought the total under mandatory evacuation to approximately 10,000. The Santa Barbara City College gym is being used as an evacuation center.

Natural gas has been shut off to most parts of Montecito, and electric power outages are affecting about 6,000 homes and businesses in the Montecito area. All Montecito Water District customers have been told to boil tap water for drinking and cooking or use bottled water. source1 source2

Significant Updates (most recent first)

Jan 12:

  • People needing evacuation assistance can call 805-681-5542, or text 805-699-0165. source
  • Santa Barbara County Beach Ocean Water closed due to high bacterial levels. source
  • All Montecito Water District customers are under a boil water notice. Bottled water is being distributed daily from 8am-8pm for customers: Montecito Fire Station, 2300 Sycamore Canyon Rd and Summerland Post Office, 2245 Lillie Ave. source
  • There are no evacuation orders for Ventura County, however, some roads are closed. source

Jan 11:

  • At 7:30pm, A new Mandatory Evacuation Order area has been declared for Montecito beginning at 6pm this evening. This area is west of Sheffield Drive/East Valley Road/Ladera Lane, east of Olive Mill/Hot Spring Road, north of the ocean, and south of the U.S. source
  • Highway 101 continues to be closed from the Santa Barbara/Ventura county line to South Milpas St in Santa Barbara. source
  • Natural gas has been shut down in some areas of Montecito source, and about 5,300 electric customers are without power. source

National Links

Regional and Local Links

State of California

Santa Barbara County

Ventura County

Emergency Numbers

Emergency Phone Numbers

  • Life threatening emergencies – call 911.
  • If you are trapped due to mudslides and need life-saving medications, oxygen, or other medical supplies, call 911.
  • SoCal Gas – suspected gas leaks, call 1-800-427-2200 or 911.

Information Helplines

  • Santa Barbara County information line: (833)688-5551 or text (805)699-0165. source
  • Evacuation Assistance – Non emergency: For those that have sheltered in place in Montecito and would like to evacuate safely, call 805-681-5542, or text: 805-699-0165. source
  • Ventura County Emergency Operations Center hotline: (805) 465-6650. source
  • Santa Barbara County Health Department – EMS Duty Officer at (805) 681-5542. source
  • Santa Barbara County 211 (for non-emergency assistance and information) – call 2-1-1 from 805 area code or 800-400-1572 from non 805 area code. source
  • Road conditions, call 1-800-427-7623. source

Reunification Hotlines and Websites

  • To locate loved missing loved ones in Santa Barbara County, call (833) 688-5551 or text to (805) 699-0165. source
  • For families searching for missing loved ones, a family assistance center has been established at the First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Times open: 8 am – 8 pm. source
  • Red Cross Safe and Well: website or call (805) 681-5542 or text (805) 699-0165.

Maps and Situational Awareness

  • Santa Barbara County Evacuation Map with current evacuation orders (regularly updated). source
  • Caltrans road conditions map. source
  • Road closures map via SBCounty Map
  • Santa Barbara Independent disaster assessment map. source
  • Crowdsourced Montecito Disaster Map. source

Shelters and Evacuation Centers

  • Jan 11 – Evacuation Center at Santa Barbara City College Gymnasium, 721 Cliff Drive (hot showers, clothes, beds, three meals a day, counseling services available)Animal shelters accepted at Earl Warren Showgrounds and the Humane Society, for assistance with large and small animals, call (805) 681-4332Call 211 if you need a ride or any information or toll free (800) 400-1572 (source)

Santa Barbara City College has been encouraging mud-flow evacuees to register themselves at Red Cross “Safe and Well” or call (805) 681-5542 either to list themselves as safe and well or to find someone who many have registered already. The same information can be texted to (805) 699-0165 source

Hotel Information

For Santa Barbara Residents displaced due to the evacuation warnings or those staying overnight to avoid potential commute issues, some hotels are offering special rates. source


Status of Hospitals

  • Jan 9 – Cottage Hospital activated its own Incident Command Center. The Condor Express and Island Packers have offered to ferry workers up the coast by boat. source
  • All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church is being used as a triage center for medical attention for those still in Montecito. source

Hospital Lists

  • Hospitals and emergency rooms in Santa Barbara County. source

Special Needs Populations

Helplines and Counseling (disaster stress, psychological support)

  • Mental Wellness help – free counseling is available by calling the Red Cross at (805) 987-1514 Source
  • Disaster Distress Helpline (free 24/7 crisis counseling): website, facebook, @distressline
    • 1-800-985-5990
    • Text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • Family Assistance Center is assisting those impacted by the mudslides. They are located at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara, 21 East Constance Avenue. Those in need of psychological or spiritual support are welcome. (805) 364-1822 source



  • Jan 12: the Santa Barbara Airport is open, and flights are operating normally. People driving to the airport should check road conditions as some areas are closed due to flooding and mudslides. source

Lists of Airports / Links

Roads / Bridges


  • Jan 11 – list of road closures from Caltrans. source
  • Jan 11 – Road closures map via SBCounty Map
  • Jan 11 – Highway 101 continues to be closed from the Santa Barbara/Ventura county line to South Milpas St in Santa Barbara. source
  • Jan 11 – Olive Mill Underpass mud source

Useful Links



  • Jan 12 – Pacific Surfliner trains continue to operate to Ventura, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and other stations as indicated on the schedule. Cleanup efforts are still underway, leading to possible delays through affected areas. Trains will be busy due to the US 101 closure. source

Useful Links

Maritime / Shipping / Ports / Beaches


  • Hwy 101 Closure Emergency Ferry Service – Santa Barbara Harbor to Ventura Harbor and Ventura Harbor to Santa Barbara Harbor, Condor Express/Santa Barbara Sea Landing in cooperation with Island Packers/Ventura Harbor is offering shuttle service for the duration of the 101 closure January 11, 2018, more dates as needed. source
  • Jan 11: Beach closures due to bacterial levels: Gaviota, Refugio, El Capitan, Sands at Coal Oil Point, Goleta State Beach, Hope Ranch, Arroyo Burro, Leadbetter, East Beach at Mission Creek, East Beach at Sycamore Creek, Butterfly, Hammond’s, Summerland, Carpinteria State Beach. Source

Useful Links



  • Jan 11 – People in Montecito, Carpinteria, and Summerland are reportedly without internet, TV, or radio, but cell phones and landlines are working. source

Useful Links

  • Internet and cable tv providers in Montecito. source

Amateur Radio

  • Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club: website, facebook
  • Santa Barbara County amateur radio repeaters. source

Power and Fuel


  • Jan 11: SoCalGas crews continue to work alongside first responders in Montecito and Santa Barbara to assess the condition of our natural gas system and to support public safety and our customers. Our emergency operations center remains activated to coordinate response activities. At the request of Santa Barbara County Fire (SBCF) to support safety in the community of Montecito, SoCalGas began temporarily isolating natural gas service to specific areas identified by SBCF on January 9. This includes most of Montecito north of the 101 freeway. source
  • Jan 11: As of Friday, 8:30 a.m., there are roughly 5,300 customers were without service in the entirety of SCE’s service area (that includes outages of all types, including maintenance outages, and the 1,500 customers impacted in Montecito).To assist in operations and to ensure the safety of personnel working in the Montecito area, SCE may de-energize electrical lines at the request of first responders. Customers in the area may experience intermittent power outages as a result. source

Useful Links

  • SoCal Gas Montecito: website (status reports), facebook, @socalgas
    • Suspected gas leaks, call 1-800-427-2200 or 911.
    • Information 1-877-238-0092.
  • SCE Electric Website, (outages), facebook, @SCE
    • Report an Outage (24-hours a day, 7-days a week): 1-800-611-1911.If you see a downed power line, call 911 immediately.
    • Customer Support (USA & Canada): 1-800-655-4555

Water Systems


  • Jan 12: There are 7 major breaks in the Montecito water service line. source
  • Jan 11: Residents of Montecito and Summerland have been advised to boil their tap water or use bottled water for all drinking and cooking. source
  • Bottled water will be distributed at two locations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. This water is only for Montecito District customers in need of water. source
    • Montecito Fire Station #2 2300 Sycamore Canyon Rd. (Corner of Cold Spring Rd. and 192).
    • Summerland Post Office – 2245 Lillie Avenue. (Beginning at 1:30 p.m. on January 11, 2018).

Useful Links

  • Montecito Water District: website
  • State Water Resources Control Board – Drinking Water Field Operations Branch – District Office at (805) 566-1326. source
  • Santa Barbara County Health Department – EMS Duty Officer at (805) 681-5542. source

Pictures and Videos

Jan 12:

  • Video from East Valley Rd, Montecito. source
  • Beach at Montecito filled with debris. source
  • Before and after photos of Montecito. source
  • Aerial view of cleanup operations. source
  • Images of search dogs and handlers. source

Jan 11:

  • Buried houses and other photos from Montecito. source
  • Aerial video taken from helicopter. source
  • Video of damage and mud-covered cars. source

Jan 9:

  • Video of damage in Montecito. source

Twitter Accounts


#castorm #montecitoflood #montecitoflooding #Montecito #SantaBarbara

Accounts of Interest

Facebook Accounts of Interest

Traditional Media (TV, Radio, Newspapers)

Animals in Disaster

  • Large Animal Shelter – Earl Warren Showgrounds source
  • Small Animal Shelter – Santa Barbara Humane Society
  • For assistance with large and small animals, call (805) 681-4332.

The following search and rescue (SAR) teams (including SAR dogs) are assisting in the search in Montecito. source and images of the dogs and their handlers Here

  • REGIONAL TASK FORCE 3 (Long Beach Fire)
    • Wade Haller & Rex
  • REGIONAL TASK FORCE 10 (Orange County Fire Authority)
    • Davis Doty & Jester
    • Donovan George & Ollie
  • REGIONAL TASK FORCE 12 (Santa Barbara County Fire)
    • Eric Gray & Riley
    • Los Angeles County Fire
    • Jake Armendariz & Clancy
    • Dennis Clark & Rugby
    • Dennis DiMarzio & Ty
    • Jason Dobbins & Diva
    • Josh Flores & Cajun
    • Manny Sampang & Eva
  • Los Angeles Fire
    • Eric Ingstad & Java
    • Cynthia Sato & Roxy
  • Windsor Fire
    • Mike Stornetta & Rocket
  • Sacramento Airport Fire
    • Eric Lieuwen & Jake
  • San Diego Fire-Rescue/Heartland Fire
    • Brent Brainard & Decker
    • Matt Kirk & Stella

Volunteers Reporting

Brindisi, Crystal, Judi, Cindy, Alice, Lloyd, Aline, Chris, Cat, Larry