New Evacuation Order, Flight Waivers Issued in California Mudslides

Firefighters successfully rescue a 14-year-old girl, right, after she was trapped for hours inside a destroyed home in Montecito, CA.
Firefighters successfully rescue a 14-year-old girl, right, after she was trapped for hours inside a destroyed home in Montecito, CA. // Photo by Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP, Newscred

Airlines are now offering flight waivers in Santa Barbara, and a new evacuation order has been issued, in response to flooding and mudslides that struck the area on Tuesday. Almost the entirety of Montecito is now under a mandatory evacuation order, which was issued at 6 p.m. local time Thursday. The evacuation order could last one to two weeks, Santa Barbara County officials report.

The new evacuation order covers an area west of Sheffield Drive/East Valley Road/Ladera Lane, east of Olive Mill/Hot Spring Road, north of the ocean, and south of the U.S. Forest Service boundary. The previous Public Safety Exclusion Zone is now part of the Mandatory Evacuation Order area. An interactive map of the evacuation area is available at http://countyofsb.org/.

Area luxury hotels The Four Seasons Biltmore and The Montecito Inn report that they are still evacuated and closed. Earlier in the week The Montecito Inn reported that it sustained only minor damage from the mudslide, while the Four Seasons reported that it will continue to assess damage and restoration work needed.

Flight Waivers

A number of airlines have now issued flight waivers for Santa Barbara as a result of the mudslides.

American Airlines reports it will waive change fees for customers traveling through January 15, with rescheduled travel to take place through January 18 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference).

United Airlines will waive the change fee and any difference in fare for customers scheduled to travel through January 15 on new flights departing on or before January 18, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.

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