Thursday, 19 April, 2018

'Window closing' to find survivors in USA mudslide

Santa Barbara County Fire Search Dog Reilly looks for victims in damaged and destroyed homes in Montecito 'Window closing' to find survivors in USA mudslide
Lora Ball | 14 January, 2018, 20:15

The 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. The dead range in age from 3 to 89.

"There is always hope", Brown said, though he added that every hour that passes makes finding new survivors less likely. "It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere with huge boulders, rocks, downed trees, powerlines, wrecked cars, lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes let alone to get people out of them", he said.

He said: "This map has been made for the general public and the local community near the affected areas".

David Cantin, 49. The father of Lauren Cantin, the 14-year-old girl whose rescue was one of Tuesday's most dramatic stories. The border collie, now 12 years old, had been dumped by his owners at a shelter and was about to be euthanized when he was taken in by the SDF.

Among those killed in the mudslides was Mark Montgomery, MD, an orthopedic hand surgeon affiliated with Santa Barbara-based Cottage Health and the Santa Barbara-based private practice Associated Hand Surgeons, according to KSBY-6 News.

Authorities had said late Thursday that approximately 43 people were unaccounted for, but majority have since been reported safe, according to Chris Elms, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. That includes Summerland and Carpinteria, where an evacuation warning had been issued. Their home of more than 30 years was untouched by the torrents of mud and water.

Now, three days in to a mandatory evacuation order they chose to ignore, the Shaws said they're determined to ride out what could be a multi-week closure.

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After the dogs are trained, they are partnered with firefighters and first responders.

Amid a field of debris out of a movie in the small California town of Montecito on Thursday stood Oprah Winfrey, communicating via FaceTime with Ellen DeGeneres about the horrors that the community connecting the two television legends has seen in a very short span of time.

"We've gotten 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.

"There's been plenty of cases where they've found people a week after". "But they're talking two weeks of closure".

Storms swept through the Central Coast Jan. 9, spelling trouble for areas ravaged by the Thomas Fire in December.

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.

Mr Johnson told the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper that the pair joined a fireman to dig the toddler out, before scooping mud out of her mouth. "We basically just had to get out and leave the gates open for the fire trucks and we're right in it ... we're right there".

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