Residents might be allowed to return Jan. 31 to Southern California neighborhoods devastated by mudslides -- if authorities can get most utilities restored by then.
Officials said Sunday that it will be a gradual process getting residents back into homes in Montecito, where 21 people were killed during flash floods Jan. 9. A 17-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl remain missing.
The coastal town's narrow streets are clogged with bulldozers and utility trucks as crews remove mud and boulders and rebuild drainage pipes and power lines.
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Robert Lewin, director of Santa Barbara County's office of emergency management, said it may be into February before natural gas service is restored.
The U.S. 101 freeway reopened Sunday after a nearly two-week closure caused by the mudslides.