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Flood Damaged Highway 101 Back In Business In Montecito; But Tourism Officials Worried About Impacts

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(Caltrans District 5 photo)
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Reopened section of Highway 101 in Montecito

Monday marks  the first full day of a major milestone in Santa Barbara County’s post flood recovery efforts, with Highway 101 reopened in Montecito.

A number of freeway on and offramps remain closed in the Montecito area, but traffic has been moving through the area well, aside from expected morning and afternoon backups.

The highway reopened at noon Sunday.

Meanwhile, with the death toll still at 21, efforts continue to find the remains of two still missing victims of the January 9th flooding. Over the weekend, additional human remains search dogs were brought in to assist with the ongoing recovery effort. Road and utilities crews are also working towards an objective of getting most of the estimated 10,000 evacuees from the Montecito area back in their homes around the end of the month.

Officials say they will allow people to return when the roads are safe, and essential utilities are restored.

The Thomas Fire, and flooding have impacted a number of Montecito businesses, as well as the region's tourism.  KCLU's Lance Orozco reports on that aspect of the situation.

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. 
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