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Montecito: Healing after tragedy

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How does a town recover after hardship? A little over a month has passed since the Thomas Fire and heavy rainfall caused flooding and mudslides in Montecito, killing 21. Since then, the community has rallied together to get through these difficult times.

To show support for the grieving families who lost loved ones and homes, the Montecito Inn on Coast Village Road shone a beam on light into the sky. The beam was meant to be a reverent act of remembrance for those who passed away in the mudslides. Furthermore, the light was seen as a beacon of hope for a community who suffered greatly in recent days.

In another heartwarming display of aid, Erin Doherty created a Facebook page called “Montecito Disaster Lost and Found.” On this social media platform, people post pictures of photographs recovered from the mud. One Lesley Fagan shared a picture of teddy bear which she washed ten times. Someone even found a tortoise! Many users of the platform have been advertising the photo restoration day being held at UCSB by Christina Romanowski Bean on February 10th. For those who have reclaimed pictures damaged by the mudslides, this event is an amazing opportunity to regain precious memories. The people participating on this Facebook page have been deemed “Mud Angels” as they are using their time to help people recover lost belongings.

Even after the Thomas Fire and mudslides, the people of Montecito are comforting and backing their family and neighbors. Though tragic events tore a hole in the vibrant community, the people refuse to give up and are trudging through this painful time with poise.

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