As problems continue to mount in Montecito and Summerland, all restaurants there are unable to prepare and sell food because of water contamination caused by this week’s mudslide, a Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce official said Jan. 11.
Water contamination has forced the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to order the boiling of water before drinking. It also ordered restaurants, markets and other businesses that prepare food to sell only packaged foods. No word yet on how long this situation will last.
Underground water mains were disrupted during the Jan. 9 mudslide that pushed debris from the hills above Montecito all the way to the ocean in a matter of minutes. The debris included large boulders and logs.
Several people also were washed downhill in the slide. Some survived, but the death toll reached 20 as of Jan. 14, the Sheriff’s Department reported. Several others are missing.
Along with the water problems, many leaks have shut down natural gas service in the area for the next several days. Electricity is also out to thousands of residents, including businesses. Cox cable has been unable to provide Internet service since the mudslide. Cell phone use has been spotty.