It was a long night for thousands of people in Solvang, who were evacuated from homes and businesses after what’s described as potentially explosive military ordnance was found in the city’s downtown area.
The ordinance was discovered on the 1600 block of Copenhagen Drive at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad, and the Vandenberg Air Force Base Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team were called in to investigate.
Between 500 to 700 homes and businesses, including some Solvang motels were evacuated. The first evacuations cane right after 5 last night, and were expanded at around 8 p.m.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team went door to door to help with the mandatory evacuation efforts. The Red Cross set up an evacuation center at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Solvang.
Just after midnight, the Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and experts from Vandenberg removed the ordnance, and rendered it safe. The evacuation order was lifted, and people were allowed to return to their homes, and motels.
Officials haven’t released details about the device, or how it ended up in Solvang.