Children among dead in huge California mudslide, 8 people missing

Children among dead in huge California mudslide, 8 people missing

Carla Harmon
January 13, 2018

Mud slides also wreaked havoc in the Los Angeles area.

Crews performed at least 50 rescues to save people trapped in vehicles and buildings. Many of them had ignored earlier orders to get out.

The 101 Freeway in parts of Montecito and Santa Barbara, will remain closed for at least 48 hours after muddy, debris-filled water flooded parts of the seaside roadway, according to Capt. Cindy Pontes with the California Highway Patrol.

Around 500 rescuers with dogs, military helicopters, and thermal imaging equipment are on the scene and yesterday, dogs helped rescue 10 people left stranded by the mudslides.

"That's a fear. We are still very hopeful that we will locate people alive", he added. "We think somewhere in the debris field".

USA talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and media mogul Oprah Winfrey are among the residents of the community and both have taken to social media to describe what they've seen.

Some of Montecito residents on Wednesday returned to their homes to see what they could salvage from the ruins.

On the other end of the Thomas Fire burn area, video from Caltrans showed a portion of State Route 33 had completely washed away. She said that her property was fine and that the damage "pales in comparison" to what her neighbors were going through.

"First we got burned out at our ranch that caught on fire and now we're flooding, so the last month has been pretty bad", Charles Stoops said as he stood in front of his house, which was surrounded in mud 3 feet (nearly a meter) deep.

After the wildfire, burned vegetation and charred soil created a water repellent layer that blocked water absorption and increased risk of mudslides and floods. Ventura County received the largest amount of rain, 130 millimeters, according to the Los Angeles Weather Services.

In some places mud was waist-deep, officials said.

Berkeley Johnson, a Montecito resident who narrowly escaped the onslaught that wiped out his home, made the life-saving discovery Tuesday, Santa Barbara City Fire spokeswoman Amber Anderson told TIME.

In an interview with ABC News the following day, Farrell said: "The scariest thing was the sound".

While the storm may be over, the work only now beings for authorities in Santa Barbara County, who are working to find dead, injured and trapped people in the wake of the powerful mud flow, Time reported.

US Coast Guard officials rescue a family including a young child from their home that was severely damaged after a mudslide.

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