Highway 101 near Cat Canyon Road | Credit: Google Maps

[Update: 5/31] The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad “exploded” the package around 3:30 p.m. Friday, authorities said, but there has been no information released as to the contents of the package.

[Update: 11:00 p.m] All lanes of US 101 near Cat Canyon Road are now open following law enforcement investigation of suspicious item.

[Original Story] A suspected homemade bomb was found by a Caltrans crew member, leading to a full closure of both the northbound and southbound 101 while California Highway Patrol and the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office’s Bomb Squad investigate the threat, according to a report from Santa Maria CHP spokesperson Maria Barriga.

The call came into the CHP’s San Luis Obispo Communication Center shortly after 10 a.m. this morning, according to the report, which said “a crew member may have found a possible homemade bomb near Cat Canyon.”

CHP set up a command post, and a road closure was originally announced from 1-2 p.m., while the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office reported to the scene with specialized bomb equipment.

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Barriga said the CHP was waiting for the Sheriff’s team to arrive, which she expected to be delayed due to heavy traffic. According to Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Raquel Zick, the Sheriff’s bomb squad was still at the scene at 2 p.m.

There were no details provided on what the suspicious item was.

This is a developing story. Check back for additional details as they become available.

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