By Nina Hall
On Sunday afternoon, January 21 highway 101 reopened after the mudslides went through Montecito. It was closed for about two weeks and it’s reopening gave relief to many people who were stranded on either sides of the closed off section.
Over these past two weekends my mom and I were driving to L.A. for some auditions. I am a dancer, so every January I audition for summer intensives at different ballet schools across the country. The first weekend we drove up there we took the five hour way because we couldn’t take the 101. The roads were extremely curvy and parts were very steep. There were towns that were smaller than half of Santa Barbara. Someone could drive through these towns in less than five minutes. The drive wasn’t that terrible because I have traveled for a longer time, but it certainly wasn’t pleasant considering I had a very important audition at 11am. The next weekend, we drove down again on Saturday because my audition didn’t start until 4:30. The next day my second audition ended at 6pm. That meant that we would get back to our house around 11:30 and needed to wake up in the morning for school and work. While I was in the audition my mom got a text from my dad saying that the highway was open and it was the best news we had ever gotten. We got home around 8:30 and went straight to sleep after the exhausting weekend. My mom and I were extremely relieved.
Many other students were affected by the highway and the mudslides. Some couldn’t get to school because they were stuck on the other side of the highway closure. Some people were faced with problems when their schoolwork and text books were buried in mud. Although parts of Montecito will never be the same, we are thankful for this sliver of normalcy that came back to Montecito.
Many other people were very relieved by the highway reopening. Working adults could get to work and people could get to their homes. Although the exits leading into Montecito are closed, people can drive through the area which is wonderful for everyone in the community.