Death toll in California mudslides rises to 17

Angelo Anderson
January 14, 2018

Trashed areas were awash in a sea of mud, with only the tallest trees standing and some homes buried up to their roofs.

'There was a moment where I turned and apologized to my folks because I didn't force them to evacuate.

After a better look at the damage, officials lowered the number of destroyed homes from 100 to 64 and raised the number of damaged ones from 300 to 446. "This remains a very active search and rescue mission".

Five people were missing as of early on Friday, down from as many as 43 a day earlier, said Amber Anderson, a spokesperson for Santa Barbara County.

The mudslides happened Tuesday after heavy rains affected areas recently charred by the historic Thomas Fire.

A semi-tractor trailer sits stuck in mud on U.S. Highway 101, in Montecito.

Santa Barbara County said at least eight people are still thought to be missing following the disaster.

The flash-floods struck in the early morning hours Tuesday. "This is a constantly changing list", he said.The sheriff told reporters all of the victims were from Montecito.

First responders waded through waste-high mud to rescue people.

She said as her house was positioned on a knoll, she felt secure and that despite being informed she wouldn't have water or gas, she feels grateful.

As rescue operations continue, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown has warned that emergency workers are now looking for "miracle survivors".

Gater tells the Times more than 200,000 emails and other warnings were issued, but the county decided not to use the push alert system to cellphones out of concern that it might not be taken seriously. Rescuers were busy probing thick muck, swollen creeks and tangled trees with poles in search of the seven missing people while dogs sniffed for bodies.

The search for additional possible victims is continuing.

"The mud was unleashed in the dead of night by flash flooding in the steep, fire-scarred Santa Ynez Mountains".

Burned-over zones are especially susceptible to destructive mudslides because scorched earth doesn't absorb water well and the land is easily eroded when there are no shrubs.

A founder of a Catholic school in Ventura is among the fatalities caused by mudslides in Southern California, which have left at least 17 people dead and many others missing or injured in Montecito.

Once on the line with her Golden Globe-winning neighbor, Ellen and her audience got a tour of the heartbreaking scene. He wasn't sure who it was.

Heavy rains pounding Southern California for a second day are causing floods and loosening hillsides as officials in fire-ravaged communities warn people to stay off roads over fears of mud and debris flows.

The storm is now over, and weather is no longer interfering with rescue efforts, authorities say.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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