Two nights ago we woke up in the middle of the night to loud slams and dunks from the rain and wind outside. How could anyone have been able to predict the devastation we would wake up to the following morning?! I guess the firefighters and the rescue teams that have been here stand by since the Thomas Fire raged through Santa Barbara knew that this could potentially happen, so mandatory evacuations were issued for Montecito and nearby Carpinteria. Many people decided to stay behind anyways, despite the warnings. Again I don't think anyone could imagine in their wildest dream what were to come. And can you imagine having to evacuate AGAIN, just a couple of weeks after you were evacuated from your home during the Thomas fire? I sure can't.
Apparently the fire created such conditions in the dirt that made it perfect for a mudslide. Since all the vegetation and trees had burned the dirt wasn't held together by any roots and could therefore slide down the mountain.
We heard multiple terrifying stories the following morning of houses sliding down the whole mountain in Montecito, all the way to the water, across the 101 freeway. It's hard to even know how to process this. A guy from the gas station told me they had pulled a 6 year old's pajamas out of the mud and a couple of people from a school in Montecito were missing. We heard stories of families taking refuge on their roofs for hours and hours in the cold rain in the middle of the night before they were able to be rescued. One of a family with a 3 month old baby. A resident of Montecito told a story about seeing a home floating by with a body pinned against it. This morning I heard on the radio about the owner of a local restaurant on the Mesa that was presumed dead, which wasn't the case but his partner had died. The last thing the owner remembers is shouting to his business partner that he needed to hold on to anything. He didn't make it. Absolutely heartbreaking 💔.
Cars, crushed homes looking like nothing more than broken up matches, boulders, mud, debris is all over Montecito, reaching down all the way to the ocean, causing the 101 freeway to be closed. it's covered in mud and other debris.
As of today I heard that the death count was up to 17, dozens missing and 100 homes destroyed in the mudslide 😞. Thank you to the firefighters and the rescue teams that have been out there non-stop doing an amazing job during this terribly sad time. Without them many more would be dead or injured.
Please pray for Montecito in this time of need 💝.