At the end of a heartbreaking week that saw deadly mudslides kill at least 20, residents of Montecito gathered to grieve, pay tribute to victims and commit to rebuilding their cherished community on the Southern California coast.
Mourners lit prayer candles and left flowers as a makeshift memorial for the victims after shedding tears, hugs and prayers during the vigil over the weekend outside the Santa Barbara County courthouse.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m scared of Mother Nature right now,” Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo told the attendees at the vigil.
Bethany Harris, who lives in Santa Barbara, brought her two young sons to the vigil because she wanted to make sure they understood the impact the devastating storm has had on the community, she said.
“We all know someone who has been affected by this,” she said. “We will heal together.”
Before a moment of silence, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams read out the names of each of the 20 victims.
“Tonight, we need to mourn,” he said. “Our community is going through something it has never gone through.”