Debris From Montecito Floods Blocking Busy Roadway Near Santa Barbara
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
Highway 101, the main thoroughfare from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, has now reopened to traffic.
Closed due to massive cleanup required from the massive mudslides in the area, it caused travelers and commuters headaches as crewed cleaned up debris and mud.
The Montecito floods caused mud and debris to run down hillslides like a river, causing loss of life and extensive damage, primarily to an area just south of Santa Barbara. The California Department of Transportation – or CalTrans – workedaround the clock to re-open the highway.
It orginally announced on Twitter on a Tuesday that the cleanup will not be completed for “at least six more days.”
#MontecitoFlood Update: our hard-working crews/contractors remain on site 24/7 to get #Hwy101 open thru Santa Barbara. It will still be at least six more days of clean-up & repairs with no specific opening estimate yet. #Hwy5 to #Hwy46 is the best detour option for travelers. pic.twitter.com/jIwOwlIvtL
— Caltrans District 5 (@CaltransD5) January 16, 2018
On the highway, workers are walking through mud that is more than ankle-high deep. They are using bulldozers and shovels to remove not just mud, but also debris, such as tree trunks.
All this washed down as rains hit the area just after December wildfires stripped the landscape.
If you’ve got to get from LA to San Francisco (or Monterey, Carmel, etc.), then take Interstate 5. You can take this to the 46, which will put you back on Highway 101 at Paso Robles. If you have any plans to visit Hearst Castle, then this is the route to take.
Do note, however, that Highway 1 – the scenic Pacific Coast Highway – remains closed until summer south of Big Sur due to mudslides in that area last winter.
Another option is to take Amtrak, which is operating through the area.
More updates will be provided on PubClub.com.