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Letter from Charlene Nagel - 1/172018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Letter emailed to membership on 1/17/2018.

Dear Montecito Association Members and Neighbors:

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to ride with Chief Chip Hickman, Montecito Fire District, in driving throughout the Montecito area.

My first impression is restorative work is occurring in nearly every corner of our community. There are many large trucks, utility vehicles, emergency vehicles, throngs of work crews and press present everywhere.

Additionally, I noted the amount of traffic in many areas causing our tour to slow many times which made me more clearly understand the continuing need to keep residents out of the area so that the tireless responders are not hindered in their progress.

Also, in many areas, people were casually strolling about, walking their dogs, or just observing the work being done causing additional slow downs in progress in some areas.

Chief Hickman mentioned to me that he estimated that only 1 out of 7 homes actually evacuated after the evacuation notice was issued. Based on the areas that were hardest hit, I’m surprised that more residents were not lost in the event.

I, also, observed several residents being assisted by both the MFD and the Sheriff’s Dept to either return to their homes to grab essentials, evacuate or being transported to obtain needed meds or food. I hope that everyone will embrace the fact that such resources are very limited and the MFD or the Sheriff’s Dept should not be casually called upon for non-life threatening needs.

We were also able to view the work being done in clearing the Cold Springs and Romero Canyon debris basins. Heavy equipment in both areas as well as large number of crews. Both debris basins were filled with debris, huge boulders and tons of mud. This will be a long process, however, I can assure you that there are plenty of personnel working on all.

Although, I have no expertise on infrastructure repair, I was happy to see the amazing progress that the MWD has made in replacing and repairing water lines to restore water service for Montecito.

Nick Turner, the GM of MWD, has done an incredible job in pulling in many contractors to execute the repairs and replacements needed.

Truly amazing!

Charlene Nagel

President