A 79-year-old man was hoisted up into a waiting helicopter from his home on 9th Street in Guadalupe when the area flooded due to a break in a private levee nearby. The man was not able to walk very well and needed the assist from Santa Barbara County Fire’s air support copter on Tuesday.
Twenty homes were flooded, but no one was injured. The City of Santa Maria is housing them temporarily.
A levee operated by the County of Santa Barbara’s Water Resources Division also suffered a breach, though it was roughly two miles away, where the Santa Maria River makes a sharp turn from running south to roughly west. According to County Fire spokesperson Captain Scott Safechuck, the river level went down after breaking through earlier in the day. Staff from County Flood Control have been working all day Wednesday to fix the damage, said Public Works spokesperson Lael Wageneck.
Correction: The Santa Maria Levee broke a couple miles outside the City of Guadalupe, and not at 9th Street, as originally reported. Ninth Street flooded from a private levee.