Los Angeles Times

Robin Abcarian: Two weeks later, Montecito's devastated neighborhoods are still empty and eerily quiet

MONTECITO, Calif. - On Sunday, Montecito's neighborhoods were mostly deserted. I walked along muddy streets, awed by the devastation.

Squishy muck covered lawns and driveways. Backyards were boulder fields. Front doors were flung off their jambs, revealing mud-filled living rooms, storm-tossed couches and other personal effects strewn inside and out. Some homes were buckled by the deadly combination of fast-moving mud, boulders and tree trunks. Cars were parked at awkward angles.

The smell of wet earth, musty and thick, hung in the air,

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