California Town Home To Prince Harry, Wife Meghan Markle Evacuated
Montecito: The star-studded California town that is home to Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle was ordered evacuated Monday, with firefighters warning mudslides could engulf luxury homes.
Montecito, which is also a favorite of American entertainment royalty such as Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston, was expected to get up to eight inches (20 centimeters) of rain in 24 hours — on hillsides already sodden by weeks of downpours.
Emergency authorities in the town 90 minutes from Los Angeles said anyone in the area should get out.
“LEAVE NOW! This is a rapidly evolving situation. Please pay close attention to emergency alerts,” a fire department website said.
The town, whose multi-million dollar properties are perched in breathtaking California countryside, is particularly vulnerable to mudslides because it sits at the foot of a mountain range that was ravaged by fire five years ago.
Hundreds of square miles (kilometers) of land were scorched in 2017 and 2018, denuding the hillsides of the vegetation that normally keeps soil in place.
Without the trees and shrubs, rains can quickly turn treacherous.
“Over the last 30 days, Montecito has received 12-20+ inches of rain across the community, exceeding our yearly average of 17 inches,” Montecito Fire said on Twitter.
“This cumulative, saturating rain puts the community at greater risk of flooding and debris flow.”
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