Truckloads of black, watery mud collected after the devastating Montecito mudslides are being dumped at Goleta Beach. About 100 trucks — each carrying 10 cubic yards — made trips on Thursday to the end of the county park nearest the UCSB campus. Another 50 trucks came through as of midday Friday.
“This is the best spot for it to go,” said a county Flood Control employee at the beach. “The ocean will sort it and it will get worked into the natural system.”
The mud was picked up in the Coast Village Circle area, which is in the City of Santa Barbara, the county employee explained. The mud was then transported to West Beach for sorting. They are “taking out all of the woody debris,” he said, adding that large pieces of wood would be chipped. Trucks then barreled along Highway 101 to Goleta Beach. Trucks were also going to Ash Avenue in Carpinteria.
Wreckage such as car parts and boulders would not go to the beach, workers said. Tom Fayram, the county’s Flood Control director, said the dump on Foothill Road is where some waste is being deposited. They are also trucking debris to landfills out of the area. In addition, the state is trying to open up Ventura Fairgrounds to house large maimed objects, said Public Works director Scott McGolpin.
Bulldozers at Goleta Beach pushed the mud into the surf zone. It should be washed away at high tide, he said. Workers would also comb the beach, he said, adding there have been “little to no” solid pieces in the pile.
Still, several Goleta residents were concerned. A few people walked up to the coned-off chunk of the beach on Friday afternoon to express frustration. One woman asked questions about the sheer volume of the mud and its toxicity. The Sheriff’s Office had to be called earlier because one man became unruly, the employee said.
By Brandon Yadegari