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Santa Barbara County Campground Hit By Flooding; Two Dozen People Evacuated

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(Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
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Flooding hits campground on Gaviota coastline; 20+ people evacuated

A private campground on the South Coast was hit by flash flooding which washed away more than a dozen vehicles, and displaced some cabins Friday morning.

A creek which flows through the El Capitan Canyon campground overflowed. No one was hurt, but Santa Barbara County firefighters had to use special vehicles to rescue more than 20 people stranded in the upper campground area.  At least five cabins were swept off their foundations.  The campground is  near Gaviota, and just north of Highway 101 between the highway and the Santa Ynez Mountains.

The mountains above the campground were part of the area stripped by last year's Sherpa Brush fire.  The area has had about five inches of rainfall during the last two days.

A Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s and Fire Department helicopter flying between the flooded campground, and its base in the Santa Ynez Valley spotted a woman whose vehicle was stranded on Refugio Road. The helicopter airlifted her to safety, and she was taken to a hospital for treatment of possible hypothermia.

No issues were reported at some nearby state campgrounds in the area.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.