Residents were allowed to return home around midnight Thursday after the discovery of a potentially explosive military device forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes and businesses in a Southern California tourist town Wednesday, authorities said.
Santa Barbara County sheriff's officials said the device, described as a military ordnance, was reported about 3:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of Copenhagen Drive in Solvang, a small city about 35 miles north of Santa Barbara.
About 500 to 700 homes and businesses in the immediate area received Reverse 911 calls ordering evacuations, sheriff's officials said.
The evacuation area was within a 1,500-foot radius of where the device was located. It included south of Laurel Avenue, west of Alisal Road, north of Birch Drive and east of 5th Street, sheriff's officials said.
Just after midnight, the Sheriff's Bomb Squad and Venderberg Air Force Base's Explosive Ordnance Disposal team removed the device and deemed it safe. The evacuation was lifted and residents were allowed to return to their homes.