Carbajal Secures FEMA Funding for Randall Road Debris Basin

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Source: Office of Rep. Salud Carbajal

[On Wednesday], Congressman Carbajal announced a $13.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been awarded to Santa Barbara County Flood Control District to purchase several properties along Randall Road in Montecito and begin construction on a new debris basin near San Ysidro Creek.

Nearly three years ago, Montecito was devastated when massive mud and debris flow ensued after the Thomas Fire overwhelmed debris basin capacity and tore through the community, ultimately killing 23 people.

“It has taken years for our community to rebuild and recover from the Montecito Debris Flow. We can, and should, honor the memories of those we lost that horrible day by doing everything possible to prevent future disasters,” said Rep. Carbajal. “Wildfires and floods, fueled by climate change, are only getting worse over time and we must adapt our infrastructure to reflect our reality. The new debris basin will go a long way toward that goal and I’m proud of the collaborative work we’ve done across local, state, and federal governments to secure the funding necessary to turn this project into a reality.”

Santa Barbara County is prone to post-fire debris flows as a result of weakened soil and unstable slopes resulting from wildfires. The proposed debris basin on Randall Road will retain large boulders and debris to protect downstream structures and lives, while protecting fish habitat and passage.

“This debris basin will have more than four times the capacity of the current basin upstream, and will feature design elements to detain more trees and rocks.  Because of this and because it is at the best gradient in the watershed, this is the ideal project for increasing the protection of the community,” said Supervisor Das Williams. “I want to thank the families who are selling the land to us and the community supporters who have been advocating every step of the way.”

The construction of a new debris basin on Randall Road is estimated to cost $18 million. As a result of this grant approval, FEMA will provide 75% of the cost-share to assist with the project, a total of $13.5 million.

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Byzantium Oct 29, 2020 10:22 AM
Carbajal Secures FEMA Funding for Randall Road Debris Basin

Incident happened during Carbajal's first term, spent second term getting nothing done and now just in time for his next election, voila, he finally does some token for his district. On the eve of his upcoming third term voting day. Our "government" certainly moves in mysterious ways with its own sense of fortuitous timing.

Lots of interest in north county races bringing out the vote as well as the devastating impacts of potential Prop 15 on north county ag property improvement reassessments, which Carbajal supports. Plus the loss of the sure thing Isla Vista student vote makes this particular House race a wide open contest this year.

PitMix Oct 29, 2020 10:46 AM
Carbajal Secures FEMA Funding for Randall Road Debris Basin

The rules of this program mandate that the property owners receive the pre-disaster price for their land. This is so that they don't lose a bunch of money since their land is worth less now because of the difficulties of building on it and getting the necessary permits. So everyone wins except the taxpayers.

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