Southern California

Road to Recovery: 101 Freeway Remains Closed in Wake of Deadly Storm

Southern California's first significant rainstorm claimed at least 15 lives and prompted dozens of rescues.

The stretch of Highway 101 covered in debris and mud left behind by Southern California's first major storm of winter will remain closed until at least Monday.

Following a deadly rainstorm that killed at least 15 people in the same area as the Thomas Fire, officials closed the road for a stretch of 30 miles. The closure comes as a result of the devastating mudslides that ruptured a gas line, trapped people in their homes and prompted mandatory evacuations in Montecito.

The closure affects the main route that connects Santa Barbara to Ventura. 

Heavy downpours drenched the area Tuesday in Southern California’s first significant storm of the season. The harsh rain called for several rescues from floodwaters and officials expect to continue those efforts for those who remain missing.

The freeway closure stretches from Ventura to Santa Barbara County in both directions while crews work on recovering the roads, which were blanketed in mud. Officials stated that the closure is expected to remain until at least midday Monday, accoriding to Cal Trans. 

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