Reflection: 100-day Milestone Following the 1/9 Debris Flow
By Das Williams, Chair, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
One hundred days – it can seem like yesterday or it can seem like a lifetime ago. For so many in South Santa Barbara County, I know that it feels like both. It was 100 days ago today that the 1/9 Debris Flow swept through Montecito and Carpinteria, changing so many lives forever. We lost 21 members of our community and two are still missing. To the families of each, please know you have been in our hearts each and every day.
For everyone in Montecito whose home was destroyed or damaged, the road to your new way of life will be a long one. Your patience and care for one another has been remarkable over these 100 days. This patience will be tested by the breadth and scale of this disaster. We believe that until everyone affected is settled in their repaired home or a new home, this will continue to be an emergency for you. And so it is an ongoing emergency for everyone in County government. We talk about this every single day and will remain focused and diligent.
Webster’s dictionary defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” I take issue only with the notion that this path of recovery will be easy. But Mr. Webster certainly knows the heart of our community. We have seen misfortune and change. By working hand-in-hand with one another, I know in my heart that we do have the ability to not just recover but thrive. So much about our future together will be about how we walk along this path of recovery. I’m certain we can do it by holding one another accountable and we can do it by showing one another the care that will be required to see a safer, stronger and more sustainable Montecito.
Please take a moment to review the 100-day report to the community, which reflects on key milestones in the response and recovery and where we are heading together.