Nearly a month later, evacuated residents return to senior living community

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Casa Dorinda before the mudslides. (Casa Dorinda)
Casa Dorinda before the mudslides. (Casa Dorinda)

Almost a month after mud and debris flows forced them to evacuate, residents in a California senior living community north of Los Angeles are returning to Casa Dorinda.

The upscale community in Montecito may now be livable, but signs of the damage persist. About 20% of the campus is still being cleaned up, according to Chief Executive Officer Brian McCague. Telephone and cable services were still spotty as well, he said.

In all, at least 21 people perished and hundreds of homes were damaged in the mudslide that followed wildfires in the area. None of the Casa Dorinda residents were harmed in the mudslides or evacuation, although local media reported that a 91-year-old resident who had evacuated to a hotel was hit by a car while he was out walking and died Jan. 29.

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