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Montecito neighbors share stories of survival

Several gathered at the Sunken Garden Sunday

Montecito neighbors share stories of...

MONTECITO, Calif. - It was a near death experience that has brought neighbors and complete strangers together.

"We watched the doors blast open and furniture start flowing out," said Montecito resident Mari Mitchel. 

Mitchel was packed in case she had to evacuate when mother nature stormed in. "We had things ready, set aside and they all floated out into the garden with the cellphones, the cars are cemented in place in the garage," Mitchel explained. 

Mitchel says her neighbors sons were swept out of their home on their mattress, landing on her roof. "They landed on our roof and I heard their voices and I said: "Hank, it's the boys and Sheri!" and they could use the blown out French doors as kind of a ladder to get into the house."

Together Mitchel and her neighbors waited in their home for firefighters and rescue crews to arrive.

Now she's thankful for the hospitality she's been receiving from friends as her and her family try to piece their life back together. "I just know I'm here and I'm glad but I was glad to be alive before this so I didn't need this to be reminded (laughs)."


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