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Crews Quickly Taking on Storm Cleanup Projects

By John Palminteri, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Senior Reporter, johnp1250@aol.com
Published On: Mar 03 2014 09:10:12 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 04 2014 02:00:00 AM CST

The March Miracle was a murky mess along our coast but crews have been out all day cleaning up the sand and debris that was left behind.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

With a violent weekend storm surge combined with high tides, the waterfront along the Santa Barbara coast has been covered with debris, sand and seaweed.

This includes part of the harbor, the parking lots, and railroad tracks in Carpinteria.

Sand berms like one at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club were broken open, and water gushed under the landmark building, but businesses nearby were not damaged.

When this was going on, crews worked in water about two feet deep to clear  a drain.

"We just want to make sure the swell backs off appropriately. Then we can clean up the kelp and and stuff and be back in business," said Santa Barbara Harbor Operations Manager Mick Kronman.  "As far as we are concerned we are in the clean up mop up mode."

Heavy equipment and crews with shovels were scraping the parking lots clean of sand.  It was an all day project.

Along the beach east of Stearns Wharf, the storm wiped out the sand, and exposed rocks that are rarely seen.

"We expected to see beach and there was no beach. It was amazing we have lived here a long time and it's the first time we have seen that," said resident Randy Copperman. "And there is a concrete jetty out there. Has that always been out there?"

Three boats are jammed into the sand at East Beach after coming loose from an offshore site where they were anchored.  They will have to be moved out by next week or they will be crushed and hauled out.

The Santa Barbara Harbor took a mouthful of sand and larger boats can only go in safely at high tide.  The operators of the dredge, have been given the approval to work around the clock to get it started up and then begin clearing the entrance of sand.  That work is expected later this week.

At the Moby Dick restaurant, where a wave broke a railing and shattered a window, repair work is underway.

The restaurant is open and a manager says, when video of the storm damage went out on the internet, he received calls from all over the U.S. from friends and customers concerned about the well known site.

The area where the damage occurred will be closed off a few more days.

In Carpinteria, waterfront apartments were spared even though the aggressive waves battered the sand berm and in one area, made a river-like path to Linden Ave.

Along Santa Claus lane debris went through a fence and on to the railroad tracks. Special equipment was used Sunday to clear the area and keep the trains moving.

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