Five People Missing After California Mudslides; Thomas Fire Finally Out
Five People Missing After California Mudslides; Thomas Fire Finally Out
'I've Just Been Clawing Through the Mud': Search Intensifies for Mudslide Survivors After 15 Killed
13 January, 2018, 18:04
Numerous deaths and injuries occurred at locations that were not under mandatory evacuation for flooding, but weeks earlier, said areas were evacuated during a series of fires.
Nearly the entire community, about 10,000 people, are under a mandatory evacuation order that could last for up to two weeks, Santa Barbara County's fire chief said.
From Oprah Winfrey to less well-known names, residents of the Montecito area shared stories of the deadly mudslides and gave each other support and perspective.
The streets of Montecito in Santa Barbara country in California resemble a battlefield, choked with mud, downed trees, snapped utility poles, crumpled cars and crushed houses. "This is how deep the mud is", she said, sloshing through the muck up to her knees.
A victim of California's deadly mudslides had celebrated his 89th birthday just hours earlier, while another was a ballerina turned real estate agent known as "The First Lady of Luxury Real Estate" in parts of Montecito, an enclave for the wealthy and famous. But because they were in a voluntary evacuation zone this week, they stayed, Clay Weimer said.
On Wednesday, loved ones searched for Montecito resident Josie Gower near her home, which was surrounded by knee-deep mud and large boulders that had been carried by the force of the mudslides. She was rescued and is in stable condition.
"Roy's life has been in service to his good, loving and ever-forgiving God", said Michael Van Hecke, St. Augustine's headmaster.
Jen Guilbeault said she made a decision to stay in her home on Ortega Ridge Road because it, too, was in a voluntary evacuation zone. "Thousands have been blessed by the Rohters' friendship and generosity".
Riskin is survived by her two children, Robert and Julia, and her husband, Ken Grand, the company said. About 65 single-family homes were destroyed and another 446 were damaged.
"It is a little frustrating", said Sarah Ettman, whose home was undamaged and whose section of town still had gas and electricity.
Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Amber Anderson told reporters some 1,250 emergency workers were at work Friday, slogging through soupy mud and uncertain footing to search for anyone who is trapped. The walls at one end of a home had completely disappeared, leaving its roof hanging precariously.
However, county emergency manager Jeff Gater said officials decided not to use the mobile phone push alert system until 3.50am on Tuesday out of concern it might not be taken seriously.
One of the victims who lost their lives in the disaster was David Cantin, the father of 14-year-old Lauren Cantin who was rescued after a six-hour effort by first responders on Tuesday.
Rainfall totals on Tuesday afternoon ranged from 3 to 5 inches in the mountains in Ventura County and 2 to 3 inches in the mountains of Santa Barbara County.
And now a massive rescue operation is underway along the southern California coast. Routes in and out of Santa Barbara have been shut down from the south, and various roadways have been swallowed by the floods.
Crews are continually moving forward in rescue mode, searching for survivors; however, access is proving to be extremely hard.
A bulldozer moves debris as a vehicle sits stranded in flooded water on U.S. Highway 101 in Montecito, Calif.
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Authorities believe that Blaze and the suspect drove around to several locations before ultimately ending up at the park. Bernstein, 19, was found dead in a California park earlier in the week after he went missing the week before.
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