Horrific Footage Shows Deadly California Mudslides

Lester Mason
January 13, 2018

Hospital spokeswoman Maria Zarte says Montgomery was an orthopedic surgeon with a subspecialty in hand surgery.

Caroline Montgomery, 22. Mark Montgomery's daughter.

Fourteen beaches in Santa Barbara County are closed to swimmers because of contamination from deadly floods in the coastal foothills. They were swept away by the mud, but the friend was rescued by clinging to a tree near the house, Scott said.

Even wrecked cars have been swept onto beaches.

Searchers had checked most of the debris zone for victims and some were doubling back to leave no stone unturned Thursday when a crew ended up in the backyard of Bill Asher, who lost his palatial home and a similar one he was restoring next door.

"We've got multiple reports of rescuers falling through manholes that were covered with mud, swimming pools that were covered up with mud", said Anthony Buzzerio, a Los Angeles County fire battalion chief.

This story has been corrected to show that the official number of missing is eight, not 48 as previously reported by Santa Barbara County officials. But it also encompasses those who have been named in calls to the operations center and family assistance center.

She said she and her wife, Portia de Rossi, had to evacuate their home on Sunday, just 10 days after returning from a previous evacuation for wildfires.

City and county fire officials told the AP that 64 homes were destroyed, down from an earlier estimate of 100 homes, and more than 400 damaged, though these numbers could vary as more information trickles in.

Dozens of stranded residents have been rescued by helicopter in areas of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties - some from their vehicles and others from rooftops.

The Thomas Fire burned the vegetation on the mountains above Montecito, causing a torrent of exposed soil and debris to wash down on the houses below when heavy rains hit.

Horrific Footage Shows Deadly California Mudslides
Horrific Footage Shows Deadly California Mudslides

The search for additional possible victims is continuing.

Garrett Speirs, 54-year-old artist and Montecito resident of 20 years, said the mudslide wiped out everything in its path.

The family rode out the storm unharmed on kitchen counters as the debris smashed through the walls and water swirled around them.

"I thought I was dead there for a minute", the teenager Lauren Cantin, covered in mud, told NBC News after workers spent six hours rescuing her.

The mudslides ravaged this part of Southern California less than a month after it was devastated by wildfire. Her daughter-in-law Sarah Gower confirmed Gower's death in a Facebook post. "Per her wishes, we intend to carry out her life's work with the same strength, grace and elegance that wholly defined Rebecca".

By Thursday, rescuers had whittled the roster of the missing down to eight people.

Montecito is still scarred by the Thomas wildfire, which erupted on 4 December and became the largest ever recorded in California.

The number of missing has fluctuated wildly, due to shifting definitions, the inherent uncertainty that follows a natural disaster, and just plain human error.

Emergency cellphone alerts warning residents about the mudslides were not sent out by Santa Barbara County officials until after the flooding had already begun, officials noted Wednesday.

"We're starting to get to the phase where people are actually calling in and saying, 'If you're looking for me, I'm OK, ' " Elms said.


Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER