NASA Images Show Montecito Before and After Two Disasters

on Jan12

12 January 2018 | 1:24 pm

Dramatic NASA imagery shows the California coastal town of Montecito and the surrounding area before and after the onslaught of deadly back-to-back disasters.

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The image on the left shows the region in November 2017, about one month before the deadly Thomas fire broke out in Ventura County and spread north into Santa Barbara County. The fire became the largest on record in California at nearly 282,000 acres.

The image on the right shows Montecito on Jan. 10, two days after a strong winter storm slammed Southern California, triggering floods and mudflows. The mountains above the coastal enclave appear darker, stripped of vegetation that would normally absorb help soil absorb rain.

Fire-charred areas appear brown, unburned areas of vegetation are green. 

Photos After the Storm: Destruction in Southern CaliforniaPhotos After the Storm: Destruction in Southern California

The map reveals some of the area’s rugged topography, such as steep hillsides and streams that overflowed into nearby communities, trapping residents and burying homes and cars in mud. The January image shows mud and debris along the streams and south of the burn area. 

As of Thursday, 17 people had died and eight more were missing, according to fire officials. Hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed. 



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