(KCLU photo)

This weekend marks a tough anniversary in Santa Barbara County.  January 9th marks three years since the Montecito debris flow tore through the community.  It will be commemorated with a ceremony Saturday night.

23 people died, more than 160 were injured, and hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged by the torrent of mud, boulders, debris, and water.


A South Coast restaurant is giving residents the chance to take-out a flavor of Italy.

The Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito has introduced to-go dining, featuring executive chef Massimo Falsini’s favourite recipes from his Italian grandmother’s cookbook. 

FEMA has awarded Santa Barbara County more than $13 million dollars towards building a new debris basin to try to prevent more disastrous mud and debris flows in Montecito.

In January of 2018, the community was devastated by an avalanche of rock, mud, water, and debris which swept through the community after nearby mountain slopes were stripped bare by the Thomas wildfire.  23 people died.

A new documentary directed by one of the South Coast’s most famous residents looks at the deadly 2018 Montecito debris flow, which killed 23 people.

Actor Rob Lowe’s film “Madness In The Hills” tells the story of the disaster largely through the eyes of survivors and first responders.  Lowe is a Montecito resident.  The film examines factors which led to the debris flow, which Lowe says includes climate change.

(Montecito Fire Department)

It’s been a controversial issue in one coastal community.  Parking has been an issue for beachgoers and residents in parts of Montecito.

Now, there’s a new wrinkle to the situation.  The Montecito Fire Department says increased traffic and parking on Miramar Avenue, and Humphrey’s Road has impacted their emergency access to the area.

Detectives say the Santa Barbara County home of television talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was burglarized.

Investigators say the Montecito home owned by DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, was hit on the Fourth of July.

An internationally known music program which attracts aspiring young musicians from around the world to the South Coast is going to take its annual summer music festival completely online.

The Music Academy of the West had already announced it was going to take part of its summer program online, but officials now say all events this June, July, and August will be on the web.

An Academy Award nominated actor whose movie and television career spanned more than a half century has died at his Santa Barbara County home. Stuart Whitman appeared in classic movies like “Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines” and the World War Two epic “The Longest Day.”

John Palminteri

Hundreds came out to Westmont College to remember the second anniversary of the Montecito debris flow disaster.

The disaster on January 9, 2018, claimed 23 lives and destroyed more than 150 homes.

An economic and market research company reports at the current pace, it could be 2029 before rebuilding is complete in Montecito from the deadly debris flow which devastated parts of the community.

Santa Barbara-based Robert Niehaus, Incorporated reviewed building permits and other documents related to recovery efforts.

It was a day no one who lived through it will ever forget.  Water, mud and debris rolled through Santa Barbara County’s foothills, killing 23 people, injuring more than 160, and destroying or damaging hundreds of homes. It was four in the morning on January 9th, 2018. The still burning Thomas brush fire had stripped the mountains above Montecito bare, and heavy rain sent the torrent streaming through the community.

(Photo by John Palminteri)

The winter storm which brought some heavy rain, snow, and even a tornado warning to parts of the Central and South Coasts is moving out of our area. Rainfall amounts topped two inches on parts of the South Coast. San Marcos Pass had 1.6” of rain, and Carpinteria 1.5”. There was some street flooding in Santa Barbara Wednesday night, but no major problems were reported in the region’s brush fire burn zones.

Photo submitted to John Palminteri / KEYT

Dogs were barking and some residents were woken up on the Montecito Coastline when a professional-style fireworks show exploded into the skies without warning around 9:40 P.M. Thursday night.

The show, which could be seen for miles, had numerous shells projected into the skies.

The sound reverberated into Santa Barbara and Mission Canyon, triggering phone calls to authorities and fire agencies.

The second wave of a big storm system is hitting the Central and South Coasts Thursday morning. It could drop one to two inches of rain in coastal and inland areas. The foothills and mountains could top four inches. There are no evacuation orders for the region, but the National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for Santa Barbara County, including the Thomas, Whittier, and Sherpa brush fire burn areas.

The first wave of what’s expected to be a two part storm has arrived on the Central and South Coast, with the biggest punch expected in the second part. Part one of the storm has been pretty unimpressive, with rainfall amounts of less than a half inch for much of the Central and South Coasts. But, there’s a big plume of subtropical moisture streaming into California.