December 16, 2018

More than 40 People Remain Missing after the Mudslides in California

13 January 2018, 07:42 | Cameron Gross

UPDATE 2-Fifteen confirmed dead in California mudslide, more casualties feared

Rescuers Search Montecito for Mudslide Survivors as Death Toll Reaches 15

Fifty people were rescued by helicopter and dozens more were saved in ground operations, Santa Barbara County said in a press release.

The most impacted area has been Montecito, the wealthiest community in Santa Barbara county.

At least 17 people are now confirmed dead in the wake of Tuesday's deadly California mudslides.

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

"We have a yard to redo and hopefully our insurance will help out with that, but the people across from me, newer homes, gone", said Garrett Speirs, a 54-year-old artist who has been living in Montecito for 20 years.

A family of five have been rescued from their home following devastating mudslides in California. "It was literally a carpet of mud and debris, everywhere", said Brown. "Four of the 28 injured are in critical condition at a local hospital", Eliason said. Mudslides and flows of debris brought by the region's first winter storm have stranded hundreds of people in Santa Barbara County. (Ventura County Sheriff's Office via AP) In this photo provided by Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the main line of the Union Pacific Railroad through Montecito, blocked with mudflow and debris.

The death toll from southern California's catastrophic mudslides has risen to 17, with United States authorities warning the number is expected to increase.

The flash-floods struck in the early morning hours Tuesday when a huge amount of rain fell in a few minutes on hills and mountain slopes stripped bare last month by the largest wildfire in recorded California history. The wildfire left charred hillsides without vegetation cover to hold the heavy rainfall.

While the town is best known as a getaway for the rich and famous - the median home price among current listings is more than $4 million - there are also working families living in modest houses and apartments.

"I started hearing this roar right after I saw the fireball. We thought that the fire was bad, and this is absolute devastation", said Scott Groff, a Montecito resident.

"I feel lucky", he added. Sadly, more than a dozen people have tragically lost their lives.

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