California flash flooding forces Montecito, other celebrity communities to evacuate

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The celebrity enclave of Montecito, parts of Carpinteria, Summerland and the City of Santa Barbara were evacuated on Monday due to heavy rain and dangerous flash flooding caused by the latest in a series of atmospheric rivers to slam California.

ATMOSPHERIC RIVERS HAMMER CALIFORNIA WITH LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODING AS RESIDENT TOLD TO EVACUATE

Located nearly 100 miles northwest of Hollywood, these communities are home to a number of celebrities and other wealthy individuals, including Britain's Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle.

Montecito, a town of about 9,000 people that is also a favorite of American entertainment royalty such as Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston, was expected to get up to eight inches of rain in 24 hours -- on hillsides already sodden by weeks of downpours.

Resident Ellen DeGeneres posted a tweet showing the rushing river next to her Montecito home.

She said it normally just trickles, and "Mother Nature is not very happy with us."

According to real estate site PropertyShark, the 93108 zip code for Montecito and part of the City of Santa Barbara ranks in the top 10 most expensive zip codes in the country. The median home price in this zip code was $4.3 million in 2022.

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This area also has a tragic history, as Monday marks the 5th anniversary of the deadly Montecito Mudslide in Santa Barbara County. Caused by heavy rainfall in early January 2018, the mudslides led to 23 fatalities, 167 injuries and over 400 damaged homes.

Cal Firefighter Alex Jimenez walks out after marking a spot with a stick where he found a body under the mud at a house along Glen Oaks Drive in Montecito after a major storm hit the burn area Wednesday on January 10, 2018 in Montecito, California.
FILE - Cal Firefighter Alex Jimenez walks out after marking a spot with a stick where he found a body under the mud at a house along Glen Oaks Drive in Montecito after a major storm hit the burn area Wednesday on January 10, 2018 in Montecito, California.

More rain is expected to fall through Wednesday morning.