Roads impacted by Montecito mudslide set to reopen by end of January

A view of the mud-swamped 101 freeway in Montecito, California on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018.
A view of the mud-swamped 101 freeway in Montecito, California on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018.
Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Following the catastrophic mudslide from earlier this month, most county roads and major utilities will be back in service by Jan. 31 — not including the areas of Montecito impacted by the flood and debris flow.

Those areas will still require extensive efforts to provide utilities and road access, according to a news release from the county. They noted that many roads, bridges and private driveways appear damaged and impassable.

Clean-up and repair on the 101 Freeway through Montecito is coming along, with nearly all of the mud cleared. Caltrans is now inspecting and working on repair all parts of the freeway, with emergency vehicles and construction trucks now passing through, but it will be several days before it's reopened to the public.

"A preliminary investigation of bridges along State Route 192 indicates that some may be permanently closed, pending replacement," according to the county release. Sections of the road have been difficult to access so far due to large boulders and other barriers.

Many locals are still waiting to be able to return to their homes, with the county saying that decisions on when they can return will be made once utilities are restored in other areas.

There are still approximately 1,350 Southern California Edison customers in Montecito without power. SoCal Edison expects to be able to restore power to areas where they already have access by Jan. 31 — for homes that haven't been significantly damaged or destroyed.

There's still no estimate for when gas service will be restored, due to the magnitude of the storm damage.

All of this is dependent on weather and other circumstances, the county cautioned.