Emergency CHP calls reveal terror during the January 9 Montecito disaster

Communications on both ends were complicated

911 CHP calls reveal frightening moments during the early stages of the January 9 Montecito disaster. (John Palminteri/KEYT photo)

MONTECITO, Calif. - The frightening moments between Montecito residents and California Highway Patrol dispatchers during the January 9 disaster reveal moments of terror.

Citizens are heard reporting a large explosion, a fireball, mud flowing into their homes and a call for a rescue from a rooftop. Some callers were trapped and stuck inside their damaged homes.

Many of the callers are in tears.

The calls were obtained by NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 as part of a Public Records request.

The event was a catastrophe  for the area. 21 deaths have been reported with two people still unaccounted for.

Dozens of people were rescued by emergency response teams along with 10 helicopters assigned to air lift citizens who could not drive or walk out of the area.

Many had to go to the hospital with injuries.

Hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed by tons of boulders and the violent debris flow. 

In addition to the CHP calls there were also dispatch calls coming in to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff and Fire, Santa Barbara Police and Montecito Fire.

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