MONTECITO (CBSLA) – Wednesday marked an evening of remembrance in Montecito as the community came together one year after a deadly mudslide tore through the town.
“Really, it wasn’t just one day, it was months and months,” resident Anne Scott said.
She remembers it vividly after losing her barn in the chaos. Thankfully, her horses were unharmed, but she said she’s more fortunate than most.
“It’s a lot. I have friends that were lost, I have a lot of homes from friends that were completely lost, just down the road a lot of homes were lost,” she said.
After the tributes, a candle light procession marched through the town. The walk honored the 23 lives that were lost – two of which were kids who have yet to be found.
“I just think it’s so important for us all to be together now and support one another and the families that lost people and to support them and give them all the love and support that they need,” resident Renee Nordstrand said.
Aside from the lives lost, the scars of the mudslides are still visible in town.
Empty lots where houses used to be, boulders scattered throughout the area and stains of mud remind the community the power of Mother Nature.
“We all sit here and look at the hillside and wonder what’s coming down. ‘Cause they told us only 15 percent of the debris came down off these hillsides, so there’s 85 percent more to come down with the right rains. And so we live with that, but we’re strong,” Scott said.
Just hours before the vigil, a rainbow lit up the sky – giving some a little more hope for the future.