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US News After California mudslides, more missing people are found as grueling search continues

19:35  11 january  2018
19:35  11 january  2018 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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– Hundreds of searchers continued the grueling work Thursday of hunting for survivors and digging up bodies in the VIDEO: 15 killed in California mudslides , search for survivors continues . READ MORE : At least 13 dead after mudslides sweep through Southern California , thousands evacuated.

My TV 33 My TV33 is on CBSMiami.com It’s the same great news, weather, and investigations you found on cbs4.com, but we’ve added a whole new range of great items and features to help you get more […] At least 17 people were killed in mudslides .

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— Anxious family members awaited word on loved ones Wednesday as rescue crews searched for more than a dozen people missing after mudslides in Southern California destroyed an estimated 100 houses, swept away cars and left at least 17 victims dead.

10, 2018, in Montecito, Calif. Anxious family members awaited word on loved ones Wednesday as rescue crews searched grimy debris and ruins for more than a dozen people missing after mudslides in Southern California destroyed houses

MONTECITO, Calif. — Authorities confronting the overwhelming mudslides that swamped this area reported glimmers of hope Thursday, saying they had located more of those who were missing as grueling search efforts stretched into a third day.

This scenic stretch of Southern California, threatened just weeks earlier by the largest wildfire in state history, has been devastated since rainfall early Tuesday sent thick rivers of mud flooding through neighborhoods and streets, demolishing multimillion-dollar homes and leaving areas impassable.

At least 17 people have been killed, officials said, a toll that could still increase.

Still, even as many grapple with the destruction that has left some in the hospital in critical condition and others trapped in their homes with no clear way out, officials have found some positive signs. There were 8 people still missing on Thursday morning, a number that had fallen in half from the previous night, according to Santa Barbara County officials. (The county briefly reported that the number of missing had spiked to 48 people, a significant increase, but quickly said this was a clerical error.)

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At least 48 people are missing after the mudslides that ravaged Santa Barbara County this week, county spokeswoman said. Frantic search for survivors of mudslides continues . Posted 7:44 AM , January 11, 2018, by CNN Wire, Updated at 07:46 AM , January 11, 2018.

At least 15 people have died and a further 24 remain missing after brutal mudslides hit California on Tuesday. Rescue workers and emergency services continued searching for survivors as the torrential rainstorm which triggered the disaster subsided.

(Slideshow provided by International Business Times)

In pictures: Rescue workers hunt for 17 people still missing after mudslides hit California: Hundreds of rescue workers and volunteers are continuing the gruelling work of hunting for survivors and digging up bodies in the sea of mud and wreckage in Santa Barbara County. In pictures: Rescue workers hunt for 17 people still missing after mudslides hit California

Officials also said that fewer homes had been destroyed than initially believed, though far more had been damaged. By Thursday morning, Santa Barbara authorities said 65 homes had been destroyed, down from the 100 homes they reported the night before. Another 446 homes were damaged, up significantly from the 300 believed to be damaged on Wednesday night.

Things looked “apocalyptic” after the deluge, said Lindsey Reed, 33, who works as a bartender and server at the private Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club in Santa Barbara.

“It’s terrifying, and you just have no control, and it’s taking out everything in its path,” she said of the flooding and mudslides.

Still, disasters have a way of uniting people, Reed said. She was out Wednesday checking on friends who have no power or cell service, and many others were also checking on each other and out with shovels to help dig.

Death toll rises to 17 in Montecito; 100 homes destroyed by mudslides

  Death toll rises to 17 in Montecito; 100 homes destroyed by mudslides The death toll from massive debris flows that buried homes and cars under a torrent of mud and boulders rose to 17 in Montecito, where local personnel and the U.S. Coast Guard continued rescue operations Wednesday afternoon. About 300 people who were stuck in their homes in Montecito's Romero Canyon neighborhood throughout the debris field were rescued Tuesday night. Authorities had said late Tuesday that residents were still stuck and that first responders planned to launch helicopter rescues at daybreak. © @latimesgraphics The mudslides began around 2:30 a.m.

Rescuers are racing to find 17 people who are still missing after mudslides slammed into wealthy areas of California , destroying an estimated 100 homes. More than 500 firefighters are involved in the search - but conditions are perilous

- Hundreds of searchers continued the grueling work Thursday of hunting for survivors and Other people were rescued after being trapped for more than a day in their homes. In 2014, a mudslide in rural Oso in Washington state killed 43 people . The last body was found after four months.

“Everyone’s just coming together,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing to watch.”

a river running through a city: Mud and water still fill a street near Montecito, Calif. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Mud and water still fill a street near Montecito, Calif. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) People across the region said they encountered grim, difficult circumstances. At a news conference, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said hundreds of people have been rescued and evacuated, many hoisted out on aircraft. Hundreds of first responders had also responded to the scene, deploying dozens of helicopters and four water-rescue teams.

The human tragedy that has unfolded since overnight Tuesday has far exceeded the emotional punch of severe property damage. Families have been swept away, and rescued children who survived their parents remain in critical condition in a hospital whose staffers are also struggling with their own damaged property.

Churches became shelters for the thousands of evacuees, who may have no place to live for months. Thousands of others are without water or power and may remain so for days.

Time running out to find survivors of US mudslides

  Time running out to find survivors of US mudslides Rescuers are racing to find 17 people who are still missing after mudslides slammed into wealthy areas of California, destroying an estimated 100 homes. More than 500 firefighters are involved in the search - but conditions are perilous, with "multiple reports of rescuers falling through manholes covered with mud". © Reuters The mudslide destroyed an estimated 100 homes - sweeping some off their foundations Anthony Buzzerio, a Los Angeles County fire chief, said: "The mud is acting like a candy shell on ice cream. It's crusty on top but soft underneath, so we're having to be very careful.

10, 2018, in Montecito, Calif. Anxious family members awaited word on loved ones Wednesday as rescue crews searched grimy debris and ruins for more than a dozen people missing after mudslides in Southern California destroyed houses

Mudslides in Southern California have destroyed houses (Matt Udkow/AP). More than a dozen people are missing and at least 17 are known to have died after mudslides in southern California destroyed homes and swept away cars.

Brenda Bottoms, a Montecito resident, described on Wednesday the muddy handprints she saw on the sides of neighboring homes, which had been slammed and partly carried off by a fast-moving mudflow.

water next to the building: The mud and debris that coated much of Santa Barbara County. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP) © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post The mud and debris that coated much of Santa Barbara County. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP) “This is a neighborhood,” Bottoms said, tears running down her cheeks. “You know the family with five kids that live right over there. And now everything’s gone.”

The mudslides marked a cruel postscript to the Thomas Fire, which burned for much of December, becoming the largest wildfire by area in California history. For weeks before Christmas, flames scorched the steep hills above Montecito, squeezed between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean northwest of Los Angeles, forcing 9,000 residents to evacuate.

Firefighters from across the state worked to save nearly all of Montecito’s houses, an achievement that city residents describe as nothing short of a miracle given the intensity of the offshore winds and the ferocity of the fire that burned through tinder-dry brush and tree stands in a rainy season without rain.

The blaze left the mountains bare, especially along the slopes and in the canyons just above Montecito, a stretch running from near Westmont College to roughly Romero Canyon, where a few hundred residents were trapped temporarily by the mudslides.

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Aerial footage shows damage and rescues after mudslides in California as death toll rises to 13 Reuters/Storyful. Search and rescue teams from all over California are working their way through the muck and wreckage in Montecito, a wealthy enclave of 9,000 people northwest of Los Angeles

Anxious family members awaited word on loved ones Wednesday as rescue crews searched grimy debris and ruins for more than a dozen people missing after mudslides in Southern California on Tuesday destroyed over a 100 houses

a river running through a city: Mud and water still fill a street near Montecito, Calif. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Mud and water still fill a street near Montecito, Calif. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) Those neighborhoods, which include the homes of Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and other Hollywood stars, are now the most vulnerable. Evacuation orders were issued days before the predicted downpour this week, sparing many when the hillsides, no longer held together by brush and trees, spilled into the neighborhoods.

Ellen DeGeneres grew emotional when discussing on her talk-show how she and her wife, Portia de Rossi, were evacuated from their home. Winfrey, her neighbor and the focus this week of great political interest after her speech Sunday at the Golden Globes, FaceTimed in to speak about what she saw at her own property.

Throughout Wednesday, residents who ventured outside witnessed the grim chore of search and rescue. Some crews had to be dropped into impassable areas by helicopter Wednesday, and the California National Guard has lent military vehicles that rescue officials say have proved invaluable.

A member of the Orange County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team looks for survivors amid the destruction. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post A member of the Orange County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team looks for survivors amid the destruction. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) On Para Grande Lane, near the base of Cold Spring Creek, Boris Romanowsky, 59, shook his head Wednesday as he surveyed the damage. Romanowsky, a former firefighter, said he refused to evacuate and was checking on neighbors who, like him, had no power or water.

“The noise was so loud you could hardly hear yourself think,” he said of how the destruction began. “We had fire on the eastern sky before sunrise and we had this train wreck of a river going through at the same time, and we had rain so loud that you could hardly see.”

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10, 2018, in Montecito, Calif. Anxious family members awaited word on loved ones Wednesday as rescue crews searched grimy debris and ruins for more than a dozen people missing after mudslides in Southern California destroyed houses

10, 2018, in Montecito, Calif. Anxious family members awaited word on loved ones Wednesday as rescue crews searched grimy debris and ruins for more than a dozen people missing after mudslides in Southern California destroyed houses

Despite the forecasts for more rain in the coming weeks, he has no plans to leave.

“I monitor on a transistor radio,” he said. “I’ve been here since the first fire. I don’t evacuate.”

water next to the building: The mud and debris that coated much of Santa Barbara County. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP) © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post The mud and debris that coated much of Santa Barbara County. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

Peter Hartmann, a dentist who lives in Santa Barbara and works in Montecito, watched crews gingerly dig through mounds of mud, unsure of what they would find. At one point, he said, they pulled a 2- or 3-year-old girl from the mud who began breathing again as they cleaned her off.

a river running through a city: Mud and water still fill a street near Montecito, Calif. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Mud and water still fill a street near Montecito, Calif. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Hartmann, a freelance photojournalist in his spare time, traversed the area on foot Wednesday, and he came across another group of search-and-rescue workers digging in the mud, this time with a tragic result.

“I think they just found another body,” he said. “The coroner came and took it away.”

Berman and Wilson reported from Washington. Avi Selk, Marwa Eltagouri and Julie Tate in Washington contributed to this report.

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