Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

MUDSLIDES: Number of missing people changes constantly

A semi-trailer sits stuck in mud on US Highway 101 in Montecito California A semi-trailer sits stuck in mud on US Highway 101 in Montecito California. Mike Eliason
Shannon Reynolds | 13 January, 2018, 11:46

Dozens of homes were destroyed, dozens more were damaged, and the debris area spread over 30 square miles, said Amber Anderson, a Santa Barbara County spokeswoman.

Last month's wildfires, including the Thomas Fire, which became the largest in California history, left the area vulnerable to mudslides.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff Office did not immediately comment.

Santa Barbara Fire Chief Pat McElroy on Tuesday gave a heartfelt presentation about the deadly and devastating impact of the Montecito mudslides and flooding.

Fire officials said "multiple rescues" were underway early Tuesday and several homes were swept off their foundations by powerful floodwaters.

Seven thousand people have been ordered to evacuate while over 23,000 others have been asked to leave voluntarily.

Heavy rains unleashed destructive rivers of mud and debris in Southern California on Tuesday - leaving at least 13 people dead, destroying homes and spurring rescues as the flooding forced heavily traveled roads to close.

Del Potro Wears Down Ferrer To Reach Auckland Final
Bautista broke again in the sixth game to lead 5-1 and comfortably served out the set in a game including his seventh ace. Del Potro had the first break point of the match in Bautista's opening service game, after a rally lasting 32 shots.

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"It's going to be worse than anyone imagined for our area", Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesperson Mike Eliason told the Los Angeles Times.

"We have a lot of friends of ours, and they are in the other part of Montecito, and they don't have electricity, they don't have gas, water and they don't have internet". Kelly Weimer, whose parents were killed when their Montecito home was swept away by flash floods, said they "were in a voluntary evacuation area so they figured they were OK".

"What a day! Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara". Most of the injuries were caused by fast-moving debris, said Dr. Brett Wilson, the hospital's emergency director. "Although we knew that this was coming you couldn't help but be amazed at the intensity of the storm".

Actor Rob Lowe, who also has a home in Montecito, wrote on Twitter he was "mourning the dead in our little town tonight" and previously posting he was under mandatory evacuation. One piece of video from Tuesday shows a vehicle being carried along a curvy, downward-sloping street, engulfed by mud on all sides.

Boulders the size of small cars were rolling down hillsides and blocking roads, reports BBC News Los Angeles correspondent James Cook.

Authorities had warned that destructive floods were likely because areas scorched by California's wildfires previous year stripped the region of much of its water-absorbing soil and foliage.

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