California mudslides: Before and after

California mudslides: Before and after

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 an estimated 100 houses, swept cars to the beach and left at least 17 victims dead.

At least 17 people died and about 500 homes were damaged or destroyed.

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. Conte said Riskin, who was the maid of honor at her wedding, took joy in pairing the ideal home with the flawless family and loved cooking, going for long walks and spending movie nights with her family.

Brown said it will be some time before the names, age and sex of those killed are released. "You just don't even think that this is possible".

"We understand the impact there is to people to leave their homes and their belongings". "Financially that's a burden".

More than 1,200 workers have been deployed in the town of about 9,000 residents for the search and cleanup effort. Firefighters, who battled blazes that swept through the area in December, went from flattened home to flattened home looking for survivors.

"Crews are working day and night to clear the road ways".

A major north-south highway along the coast, US Route 101, was closed in both directions and not expected to reopen until next week.

The 87-year-old man was "located by a search and rescue team in his residence", said Bill Brown, the sheriff of Santa Barbara county.


On Thursday, Brown expanded what was known as the public safety exclusion zone to incorporate most of the town. Those who didn't comply would face arrest.

Amber Anderson with the Santa Barbara Incident Management Team said there were about 75 people who called for help for evacuations. "It's martial law here, basically".

Among dramatic historic examples in the mountains of Southern California, a 1934 storm unleashed runoff so intense that 30 people were killed, more than 480 homes were destroyed and a almost 60-ton (54-metric ton) boulder was pushed out of a canyon.

The cause of death for most of the victims will be listed as multiple traumatic injuries resulting from flash floods with mudslides, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's office said.

But during a later news conference, Brown also announced the recovery of resident John Keating, 53, who only moments before was still categorized as missing. "They're finding people and bodies", she later added, at times pausing to take a breath.

The area was recently ravaged by wind-driven wildfires that included the Thomas Fire, the state's biggest on record, that left hillsides in places like Montecito vulnerable for the destruction brought by the first downpours of the region's rainy season. "He said so many times that after his passing, 'Make sure everyone prays for my soul.' We will, Roy!"

With most utilities out of commission or about to be cut off, staying behind was not an option for many. She has a cot and cages for her dogs, and she plans to stay until she feels "some guidance to move on".

The 101, a key north-south route in California, was tentatively scheduled to reopen on Monday, but cleanup efforts have proved more hard than expected, Santa Barbara City Fire Chief Pat McElroy said on Saturday.

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