MONTECITO, Calif. - Wednesday marks one year since the Montecito Mudslide.
One year ago the well known town, famous for its celebrity residents and exclusive properties became the sight of a horrible natural disaster. Just weeks after the massive Thomas Fire burned the hills behind Montecito, it rained. And rained hard. Those charred slopes stood no chance.
Around 3:30 a.m. on January 9, 2018 the first reports of trouble started to come in from Montecito. Mud was everywhere, debris flowing down streets and over the sides of creek beds. No one would know the extent of the damage until the sun came up.
In the end, 23 people lost their lives. Countless others were injured or left without a home. Hundreds of properties were destroyed or damaged. Two of those killed have never been found.
For days after the disaster, anchor Joe Buttitta reported from the devastation. He produced a video from the images he captured during that time, to remember, and to reflect.
Team coverage of the Montecito disaster continues during all NewsChannel 3 broadcasts on Wednesday at 11 a.m., 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.