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Thankful for disaster coverage

On Jan. 9 at about 2 a.m. the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office sent out an alert to immediately evacuate the Montecito area. The local television news stations sent their youngest, prettiest, local reporters to stand in that mud for hours, reporting the most unimaginable sights of their young lives. The broadcasts went all day, some repeats, some live updates, into the night.

But in the beginning, in cold rain and hours of cold, slimy mud, dead animals, traumatized residents, stood those young women reporters telling us what we didn't want to see or hear.

Many of the young women are most likely from Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and environs. But what they saw, what they experienced, as they stood there, in the most awful of environments, was heroic to me.

I appreciate the later reports in your newspaper, and the emails that arrived. The availability of the information on the website on the Highway 101 closure, the closure of the other local surface roads, and the maps keeping us informed reminded me why the local press is needed and why subscribers help pay to keep the Fourth Estate there for us.

To all of you journalists, publishers, technicians, kudos for a job well done.

Pat Lala

Santa Maria

 

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