A torrential downpour that started in the early-morning hours of Friday (Jan. 20) scoured the 7,474-acre wildfire scar left after last summer’s Sherpa Fire in California, triggering flash floods and dangerous debris flows, the Santa Barbara Independent reported.
The El Capitan Canyon private campground reportedly lost five structures and 22 vehicles to flash flooding as the swollen creek pushed trees, boulders, and two vehicles downstream all the way under Highway 101 to the ocean at El Capitan State Beach, damaging the state campground, too. Both campgrounds were evacuated without injuries.
While state officials hope to have the public campground open by this weekend, the private campground remains closed as crews mop up with heavy machinery. Nearby Ocean Mesa RV Resort and Campground also remained closed as of Wednesday.
The campgrounds were only part of the widespread damage caused by the flooding.