Mudslides and flash floods destroyed parts of Montecito, California, last week. At press time, the natural disaster had caused at least 20 deaths.
The mudslides were caused by a powerful storm. It sent mud and boulders down hills and into nearby communities. Hundreds of homes were destroyed. Some streets were cracked. Authorities closed highways and bridges.
Recovery crews continue to dig away mud, boulders, and toppled trees. Crews are also clearing out waterways. These include creeks and canals. The hope is to prevent another disaster when the next rainstorm hits.
“If we don’t get those debris basins cleaned out, then we’re not going to be prepared for the next storm,” said Robert Lewin. He is Santa Barbara County’s emergency management director.