California mudslides: Evacuation zones expanded as searches continue

Pauline Gross
January 12, 2018

Kelly Weimer's parents' home was wrecked. Theresa was rescued, said Michael Van Hecke, headmaster of St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, which Rohter founded in 1994.

Authorities have released the names of 17 people killed by mudslides in California.

Santa Barbara County Fire spokesman Mike Eliason said heavy rains triggered "massive" runoff in Montecito, an unincorporated community of about 10,000 people 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

"He said so many times that after his passing, 'Make sure everyone prays for my soul.' We will, Roy!"

"No one could have guessed this", Diane Brewer said.

Winfrey's home survived the mudslides. She was taken to a hospital, Johnson told CBS Evening News.

"She was in the house and was swept away", said Renee Grub, a friend of Riskin.

Rebecca Riskin, a real estate agent and founder of Riskin Partners, was also killed in the mudslides in Montecito, the company confirmed in a post on its Facebook page Wednesday. She added the hashtag #mudslides. Many turned to social media in their search.

VIDEO: Firefighters rescue girl trapped in Montecito home amid powerful mudslideCrews marked where bodies were found, often far away from a home, and used that information to guess where other victims might have ended up as the surging mud carried or buried them. "Devastated", Winfrey said as she stood, surrounded by debris. In Los Angeles, a police cruiser got swamped in tyre-deep mud. "I don't know anything about our home yet".

"All hell broke loose", said Peter Hartmann, a dentist who moonlights as a news photographer for the local website Noozhawk. "Power lines were down, high-voltage power lines, the large aluminium poles to hold those were snapped in half. I was in a mud flow yesterday, and it went from a wash channel being 6 inches of water to being 10 feet of water full of boulders".

Hundreds of residents were under mandatory evacuation orders. They are asking people to "stay out of the area so that rescuers can do their job".

Residents hit by the disaster record the damage among the grimy debris and ruins in Montecito California, where 17 people have died and eight are believed missing after mudslides swept away their homes

Unlike Katy and her family, comedienne and US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi were among those in a mandatory evacuation zone, and had to vacate their property on Sunday (07Jan18), weeks after facing the threat of losing their home to the wildfires. He was directing urban search-and-rescue teams and working on a plan to find and preserve human remains - while keeping his crew safe.

She and her family were trapped in their home by the mud and debris.

On Wednesday (10Jan18), Katy took to her Instagram Story timeline to assure fans her estate in the area, and that of her parents, were both now out of harm's reach, but she is thankful for their continued prayers for her hometown.

"Some mud, and minor damage that pales in comparison to what my neighbors are going thru".

Thousands of California residents were asked to leave their homes on Monday for the second time in two months, after already facing wildfires back in December.

As the mud receded, a dark stain covering halfway up the front windows of a home in Montecito served as a reminder of the havoc caused by the heavy rain and flooding.

"Most injuries we saw were related to fast-moving debris", Wilson said.

The department posted pictures of rivers of waist-high mud flowing through neighbourhoods and roads rendered impassable by fallen trees. One such piece of equipment grabbed a piece of a auto.

Torrential rainfall contributed to damaging mudslides and flooding in Southern California on Tuesday. Local rescue crews, using borrowed helicopters from the U.S. Coast Guard, worked to airlift them out, officials said. It was 92% contained, and officials don't expect full containment until later this month.

After previous devastating fires, a few older residents might move from the canyons down to the relatively unperturbed beach-side parts of Santa Barbara, Grubb said.

The number of people missing after the deadly mudslides in Montecito, California, has surged to 48.

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