Around 100 concerned citizens convened at Goleta Valley Junior High on 9/23 to discuss efforts by Goleta and Santa Barbara County to prepare for floods that could result from rain in the wake of this summer’s foliage-consuming Gap Fire. Tom Fayram, director of the County Flood Control District, explained that various agencies have been busy clearing creeks and sediment basins while others hydromulch-the spraying by air of a soil-stabilizing slurry on burned areas. Fayram also emphasized the value of flood insurance, saying “Don’t wait until the first flash across the bottom of your TV screen saying there’s a flash flood coming to get ready. You should be getting ready now.” Some questions arose from attendees curious about exactly what flood insurance covered. A general consensus among officials present posited that it does not cover landslides or mud flow from a hillside. Furthermore, Mike Schaumburg, who lives in one of the areas faced with the potential of flooding, said that his insurance company directed him to FEMA flood insurance, which he said costs $350 per year, but only provides $250,000 of maximum coverage. Officials nonetheless encouraged homeowners to invest in flood insurance, regardless of whether they live in a flood zone. “Let’s assume we’re going to get that big storm and be prepared,” said Goleta City Manager Dan Singer.


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