Santa Barbara County Utilizes Technology with a Human Touch to Aid in Debris-Flow Recovery
The emotional scars from the 2018 devastating debris flow in Santa Barbara County are still as evident as the vacant lots scattered through the Montecito community. The nature of the destruction during that January night is difficult to put into words. In a matter of minutes, 23 people lost their lives, nearly 500 properties destroyed or damaged, and an estimated $175 million in property damage.
There are scores of stories of how individuals have stepped up to help those in need. And one of those stories is how the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department developed a web-based GIS mapping tool that helped inform, educate – and relieve the anxiety of — property owners who fled the devastated Montecito region and had no idea on the status of their property or how to begin rebuilding.