101 Freeway Reopens in Montecito Area After Flooding

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A powerful storm on Saturday caused heavy flooding in Santa Barbara County, prompting officials to shut down a portion of the 101 Freeway in the Montecito area for much of the day. The northbound and southbound 101 was closed from State Route 150 to Milpas Street, the California Highway Patrol tweeted at about 9:45 a.m. Just after 4 p.m., CHP tweeted that the southbound lanes have been reopened. Northbound lanes were reopened about 8 p.m., according to Caltrans. “Many motorists have been stuck driving in flooded streets,” Santa Barbara County Fire Department’s Mike Eliason said. “If you see a flooded roadway, please do not drive through.” Last year, mudslides in Montecito killed 23 people and destroyed hundreds of homes. Eliason also tweeted images of a pine tree believed to be 100 years old that had fallen onto a home. He said the resident was not injured. Firefighters have been responding to a number of trees that have come down throughout the county, Eliason added. Saturday’s downpour also triggered closures south of Santa Barbara. In Ventura County, near Pyramid Lake, a crash on the northbound 5 Freeway left a search and rescue team volunteer dead and several others injured. Near the county line in Malibu, officials shut down the PCH due to a mudslide. Forecasters had issued a flash flood warning in the city and other surround areas affected by the Woolsey Fire in November.

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