- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on the recovery from deadly California mudslides (all times local):

4 p.m.

A state senator from Santa Barbara is introducing legislation that seeks to ensure that insurance companies cover damage from devastating mudslides.

Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson said Tuesday that questions remain about whether fire insurance policies will cover the damage, which was caused by torrential rains in an area that had just burned. Some worry that insurers will refuse to pay claims for customers who don’t have optional flood insurance.

SB917 would require insurers to pay for damages caused by landslides triggered by wildfires or other covered disasters.

Jackson says some insurers are being noncommittal about whether they’ll pay claims. It’s unclear how many customers are affected.

Jackson says the powerful mudslides destroyed almost 10 percent of the homes in Montecito. Twenty-one people were killed.


10 a.m.

A report finds that in the days before mudslides devastated California neighborhoods, officials released conflicting evacuation orders that left some hard-hit neighborhoods out of the warning zone.

The Los Angeles Times reports Tuesday that the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office posted on its website and Facebook a list of voluntary and mandatory evacuation areas for Montecito. A separate map on the county’s website included a larger voluntary evacuation zone that included homes not covered by the sheriff’s list.

The Times says of the 21 people killed, at least a dozen lived in areas that were covered by the county’s evacuation map but not included in the sheriff’s warnings.

Officials acknowledged the discrepancy while emphasizing other measures used to warn residents of the approaching storm - including emails, social media alerts, press releases and even deputies going door to door.


5:30 a.m.

Authorities are lifting some evacuation orders for Southern California neighborhoods near where powerful mudslides destroyed homes and killed 21 people.

Santa Barbara County officials say residents of certain areas on the western edge of Montecito will be allowed to return at midday Tuesday.

Utilities may still be out and a boil water notice remains in effect.

Large swaths of the coastal town will remain evacuated as crews continue to remove mud and boulders and rebuild drainage pipes and power lines.

Officials said over the weekend that it would be a gradual process getting residents back into homes.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared Monday a “Day of Remembrance of the Montecito Mudslides” and ordered flags flown at half-staff over the state Capitol.

A 17-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl remain missing.

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