With a mudslide obstructing a huge swath of Highway 101, many students are experiencing unexpected vacations from class as dozens of professors are stranded outside county lines.
Traci Kellogg, manager of the Transportation Alternatives Program, said four of UCSB’s vanpools that run from Ventura and Camarillo were unable to reach the university on Monday due to road obstructions caused by inclement weather.
“The vanpoolers heading to UCSB turned around,” Kellogg said. “Not one of them made it up here.”
Kellogg said the vans, which run daily car pools for students and staff, each hold 14 passengers and a driver. She said various members of UCSB, including administrators, staff, students and graduate students, employ this method of transportation. Pete Villarreal, director of the Educational Opportunity Program, said he was among the stranded UCSB staff members living in Ventura. Villarreal said the vans are usually at capacity when they leave for campus.
“We stopped because we heard on the radio that there was a mudslide near La Conchita,” he said.
The vanpool left Ventura around 6:45 a.m., but due to traffic congestion was only able to return to Ventura around 11:00 a.m. Villarreal said the vanpool was stuck between Ventura and La Conchita for two-and-a-half hours until it drove to Mussel Shoals, located just before La Conchita. At that point, Villarreal said, the vanpool turned around and headed back home.
“We’re not going to make it by [Tuesday],” Villarreal said
Some students were also impeded by the mudslides. First-year electrical engineering major Nicholas Cox attempted to drive back to Santa Barbara Monday, but was caught in traffic.
“I was in Ventura for hours,” Cox said.