Massive mudslides on Montecito caused by the first winter storm in the burn area of the Thomas Fire (Jan. 9, 2018)
Paul Wellman

Early this morning, Caltrans representative Susana Cruz said, optimistically, that the soonest the 101 could open is early next week. Monday is the most likely time that the mud, muck, and water will be unclogged from Santa Barbara’s lifeline from the south, she indicated.

Interstate 5 is currently the alternate route through California, with vehicles crossing over to the coast along State Route 166 north of the Grapevine to Santa Maria. Big rigs, or 18-wheelers, must take SR 46 from about Lost Hills over to Paso Robles due to their size.

[Update: Jan. 10, 2 p.m.] Northbound motorists can now reach Carpinteria by taking State Route 126 in Ventura and through the Ojai mountains along SR 150, and vice versa. The 33 through Ojai remains closed due to mudslides. The 101 between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara is still being drained and cleaned up, and remains closed.

[Update: Jan. 10, 4 p.m.] Captain Cindy Pontes, commander of the California Highway Patrol in Santa Barbara, announced at the press conference Wednesday afternoon that people are attempting to use the 192 to bypass the 101. State Route 192, also known as Foothill Road, was heavily affected by flooding and is impassable in numerous places. It is effectively closed.


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