14 Enero, 2018
"There are mothers, fathers, grandfathers, siblings and the list goes on and on."The devastation affected an area estimated at 30 square miles, according to Cal Fire". But within an hour they said they had made a clerical error, and the actual number of missing was eight. Fourteen helicopters and four water rescue teams were aiding the effort.
"And there are families missing, there are people who are missing family members.it's catastrophic". You hear the word mudslide and you have no idea the impact that it has, but ... it's catastrophic.
This week has been a tough one when it comes to weather conditions.
Residents in some areas were subject to a new mandatory evacuation yesterday, emergency officials said, adding the unstable environment remained a threat. Others who were found, or identified among the dead, were crossed off. At least 28 people were wounded in the storm, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Before dawn Tuesday, the worst fears were realized. The rain poured down on hillsides charred by recent wildfires, which burned vegetation that otherwise could make the terrain more resistant to mudslides.
Some residents watched as crews tried to clean up the area, still in disbelief. A mudslide swept Rohter and his wife, Theresa Rohter, out of their home in Montecito. "Literally. Ran for my life".
Returning residents must follow the direction of law enforcement and stay out of restricted areas.
Rescue crews were busy sticking poles into thick muck, swollen creeks and tangled trees in search of five missing people while dogs sniffed for bodies.
It's unclear how many people actually got the alert.
Crail credited a retaining wall with saving the home from more serious damage. They finally eroded into deadly mudslides that struck the community unawares.
Some 500 firefighters and other rescue workers were searching debris spread across a wide swath of Montecito, a wealthy enclave of about 9,000 people northwest of Los Angeles that is home to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Ellen DeGeneres.
"It's devastating. We've lost so many lives, and it's a tiny community, and nobody would've expected, certainly, I did not, that after we survived the fire ... the rain came". They pump it out and it comes back in, pump it out and it comes back in. "And our cars. Oh, our cars".
As the death toll hit 17, Santa Barbara County officials said their cellphone emergency alerts failed to reach those in danger until nearly 4 a.m., after the hills around Montecito - denuded by the largest wildfire in recorded state history and flooded by rainfall - had already begun to collapse.
"The mud and debris flow has completely isolated places like Santa Barbara", Jonathan Bastian of member station KCRW told NPR's Scott Simon. Long term, one option would be more basins to slow down storm runoff and collect debris. Jeff Bridges tweeted that his home was "severely damaged" but that his family was safe. "Your prayers and best wishes are most appreciated". "This is what I saw after I talked to my dad and he died 10 minutes later after that", she said.
Bacon reported from McLean, Va.