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Crews to Repair South Coast Harbor Hit Hard by Torrential Storm

Photo by City of Santa Barbara
Sailboat beached after February 17th storm washed the anchored vessel away

The South Coast is still dealing with problems created by the biggest storm of the season, but work will be done this week to ensure all boats can access the Santa Barbara Harbor.

The February 17th storm brought torrential rains, strong winds and large ocean swells to the harbor, which damaged sand berms and pilings and destroyed four anchored sailboats that were washed away.

“The biggest issue was that it deposited massive amounts of sand into the mouth of Santa Barbara Harbor,” said Dominique Samario with the Santa Barbara Waterfront.

She said that leaves the harbor entrance only seven feet deep at zero tide. So now boats can only go in and out of the harbor at high tide, and some larger vessels can’t even leave or enter at all.

On Wednesday, crews will start dredging, which will remove the excess sand and deposit it on a beach.

“We’re hoping by March 3rd or 4th they’ll be able to create a narrow channel that is deep enough for all typical boating traffic to go in and out of the harbor.”