Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019

Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019 title=
Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019
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Source: Montecito Fire Protection District

The Montecito Fire Department, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Carpinteria Summerland Fire Protection District, have engaged Atkin’s Engineering to update the Debris Flow Risk Map. The most current version of the Debris Flow Risk Map was published in late Fall 2018 and is available at www.readysbc.org. Atkin’s Engineering is very familiar with the South Coast. They developed last year’s Debris Flow Risk Map and the FEMA Interactive Recovery Map.
 
The purpose of the Debris Flow Risk Map is to identify properties in our communities that may be at risk from a catastrophic debris flow; it is utilized by local emergency managers to determine what portions of the community to evacuate when high intensity, short duration rainfall is forecast by the National Weather Service.
 
The Debris Flow Risk Map is being updated to reflect several positive changes that have occurred in our community over the past twelve months. The watershed that produces debris flow continues to regenerate and recover from the Thomas Fire providing much more soil stability. Our creek channels and debris basins have been improved and widened by Santa Barbara County Flood Control District to provide a more direct route to the ocean. Our communities benefited from these improvements during the most recent storm season when all the debris stayed in the channels. Additionally, Debris Flow Ring Nets have been installed in three canyons by The Partnership for Resilient Communities enhancing our community’s safety by catching and holding debris before it reaches populated areas.
 
According to Matt Pontes, Interim OEM Director “The updated Debris Flow Risk Map will provide emergency managers with the latest, scientifically validated information to ensure that we are only evacuating those areas necessary when high intensity, short duration rainfall is forecast.” Montecito Fire Chief Kevin Taylor said “given watershed regrowth, basin and channel improvement, our systems performance during the most recent storm season, and the addition of the debris flow ring nets, we are hopeful that significantly less community members will be impacted by the updated map.”
 
Scientists will begin gathering data at the end of August 2019 and the map will be published in late October 2019. Community meetings and a door to door campaign of affected properties will follow in early November 2019.
 
For more information on the updated Debris Flow Risk Map please contact the Montecito Fire Department at 805-969-7762.

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tagdes Jul 19, 2019 11:11 AM
Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019

Because there is no danger of a debris flow. No debris, no recent fires on the down slope, and no huge unstable boulders along the creeks. Actually the only other creek that would be a problem is Mission and it's already had it's major event...about 1,000 years ago and it resulted in Skofield and Rocky Nook parks.

PitMix Jul 18, 2019 08:26 AM
Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019

The factors going into debris flow mapping are notoriously difficult to evaluate. I don't know if the changes in the map would be meaningful to a resident or insurance company. If the new map shows your property as being outside of the zone, but the old one showed you were in, does that mean you can forget about evacuating and get a good night's sleep? Normally they just create maps with very big zones to make sure that everyone who is at risk at all is aware of it.

Bob Wilson Jul 18, 2019 08:15 AM
Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019

That map demonstrates clearly how tragically stupid it was to make Highway 192 the demarcation line between mandatory and voluntary evacuations. A fact that was known before the Jan 9 debris flow that killed 19 people (of the 23 total) who thought they were safe by being in the county-designated voluntary evacuation zone.

PitMix Jul 18, 2019 03:29 PM
Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019

Even worse was that initially they had a risk map that followed the general creek outlines, but someone who didn't know what they were doing decided to use the fire evacuation map instead. Am surprised there hasn't been a big settlement over this.

a-1566404152 Jul 18, 2019 07:46 AM
Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019

This map impacts property value, and access to, as well as cost of property insurance. Has County Assessor yet reduced taxation base on all impacted properties? Which insurance companies are still writing policies on Montecito properties? High fire Riviera and Eucalyptus Hill area properties? Because of the 1978, 2008, 2009 and 2017 fires, the community needs a list of which companies are underwriting; and/ or if non-cash buyers are obtaining casualty insurance through mortgage lenders that insures only the mortgage amount. Also, if a claim was filed is it more difficult to then get casualty insurance? I was told claimants get on some internal insurance industry-wide ‘boycott this applicant’ list used by underwriters. Is this true? So much information is needed that can’t be found. Help wanted.

Red Creek Jul 18, 2019 01:24 PM
Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019

The easy answer is to avoid buying homes in high fire risk and flood areas (most of the foothills, waterways and on the beach) and if living there now, find a safer place to live. Insurance is shared risk based, so inevitably areas that have repeated threats will be facing high insurance or even no insurance today and in the future especially if the climate continues to heat up and the oceans rise as they have for the past l00's of years.

a-1566404152 Jul 18, 2019 08:27 AM
Updated Debris Flow Risk Map Expected October 2019

The Montecito Association has been doing a lot of work on the insurance front. I believe they're working with Monique Limon's office and the Insurance Commissioner on it. You may want to check with them.

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