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More than 40 People Remain Missing after the Mudslides in California

More than 40 People Remain Missing after the Mudslides in California

That "river" is the 101 freeway. Workers used pumps and hoses while heavy equipment cleared away debris. "It's like we're on an island".

"We got it out, got the mud out of its mouth". Residents were still in shock over the loss of life.

Santa Barbara County authorities said Thursday afternoon up to 43 people are missing as a result of the mudslides this week in the Montecito area. Tuesday's debris flows killed at least 13 people and injured at least 25. All are residents of Montecito and range in age from 3 to 89.

Crews continued to search the area, with a particular focus on people who could be trapped under heavy debris and flooded homes, according to Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Yaneris Muniz.

A community group formed in the aftermath of last month's devastating Thomas Fire also began coordinating free airplane and helicopter rides for doctors and emergency personnel. After a better look at the damage, officials lowered the number of destroyed homes from 100 to 64 and raised the number of damaged ones from 300 to 462. The stretch of the 101 between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara was reopened midday Thursday. "Nowhere in my mind did I think it was going to be as bad as it was certainly", said Jayme Laber, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.

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They happened when water that would have otherwise been absorbed or at least slowed by vegetation instead instantly ran down creeks and other drainage areas, picking up soil, rocks, trees - and potentially growing powerful enough to carry massive boulders and vehicles.

The US Forest Service announced on Friday that the fire that burned 440 square miles had been fully contained. Days before the mudslides, the county issues repeated warnings on social media, news media and emails about the potential for mudslides during the major storm. But looking back, she said, she and her family actually had plenty of time to prepare and evacuate. Only an estimated 10 to 15 percent of residents fled when ordered, and much of the damage occurred where evacuations were voluntary.

Ms Benitez lived with her sister-in-law, Marilyn Ramos, 27, who was asleep with her daughter, Kaelly, 3, when mud crashed through their Montecito rental home, carrying both to their deaths.

A crew found the body of the 18th victim, Joseph Bleckel, 87, before noon Friday in his home near Romero Canyon, Brown said. "It's not like anybody came around and told them to leave". Brown apologized for the inconvenience, but he called the area "a very active rescue and recovery and fix zone right now". The local television news stations sent their youngest, prettiest, local reporters to stand in that mud for hours, reporting the most unimaginable sights of their young lives. I know that there were some definitely laying on the road early on Monday morning before first responders got there. For workers trying to get the freeway reopened, the thought of victims buried in the muck casts a grim tone to an already dirty and hard task.


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