Mudslide death toll rises to 19, number missing drops to 5

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2018

The region's natural beauty and easy access to Los Angeles to the southeast have long attracted the rich and powerful, including television personality Oprah Winfrey, former tennis star Jimmy Connors, talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and actor Jeff Bridges. "I screamed at my family and water started coming into the house".

The mudslides have left 17 people dead and at least eight missing, according to state emergency officials.

Firefighters who fought deadly wildfires in the area in December are now searching flattened homes across Santa Barbara County for mudslide survivors.

"We're really joined together", she said. "Trees were cracking. It was scary all right", he said Thursday.

Pitney said many rescues were still happening Wednesday and Thursday, but most if not all were of people who were safe but just wanted to get out of the area.

'There was a moment where I turned and apologized to my folks because I didn't force them to evacuate. "They were digging in the Montecito Inn and down there in the parking lots yesterday, and I think there may have been some fatalities down there, I don't know".

Heavy rain on Tuesday, which followed 10 months of drought, sent sticky mud and debris flowing down the hills into Montecito.


The death toll in the Montecito, California, mudslides has risen by one to 19 and the number of remaining missing has decreased to five. "(Montecito) is beyond recognizable".

Several news accounts said that a mudslide swept Roy Rohter, who founded St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, and his wife, Theresa, from their home in Montecito early January 9.

"Everyone was saying to me, 'How's your property?' " she said. "Windows went flying, doors went flying".

Hundreds of houses were destroyed.

She said as her house was positioned on a knoll, she felt secure and that despite being informed she wouldn't have water or gas, she feels grateful.

Brown urged anyone in mandatory evacuation areas to leave immediately.

As word of his death spread tributes poured onto social media from colleagues, friends and patients.


"But realistically we suspect that we are going to continue to have discovery of people who were killed in this incident".

"This is an enormous loss for our community", the hospital said in a statement. "Your prayers and best wishes are most appreciated".

Mourning the dead in our little town tonight.

He and his partner of 17 years, Ralph "Lalo" Barajas, were swept out of their home before dawn Tuesday by the devastating slide.

McDonald was still at home in her retirement community of Casa Dorinda on Thursday, adding there was no point in leaving now because she needs oxygen that is hard to transport to a hotel. "I'm told there was about 5 feet (1.5m) of mud". On Friday her family spoke with Mexican officials about bringing her body back.

My attractive home town, just after getting through weeks of wild fire, has been hit by a major storm.


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