California mudslide casualties increase to 18


He and his parents put belongings in three cars in case they made a decision to leave before the storm. Mudslides were possible as a result of the recent wildfires denuding the hillsides of trees.

As rescue operations continue, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown has warned that emergency workers are now looking for "miracle survivors". When it was over, the Mitchell home was gone, washed down the road toward the ocean. "It hardly had any mud on it". Their bodies were found Tuesday morning on a different street, added Clay Weimer, a son-in-law. James was 89, and Alice was 78.

On Thursday, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office confirmed the couple died.

Evacuation orders were issued for areas below the Thomas, Whittier, Sherpa and Rey Fire Burn Areas beginning at noon on Monday, January 8, but only about 15 percent of residents are known to have evacuated.

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.

Marilyn Ramos was asleep in bed with her three-year-old daughter, Kaelly Benitez, when the deadly mudslide came crashing through their rental home, killing them both.

"Everybody was exhausted from the fire warnings", Weimer said Friday. First came the fires, and the Thomas Fire last month in this area west of Los Angeles was the biggest ever recorded in the state.

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The number of missing people fluctuated as some were located.

"We ask that you keep this devastated family in your thoughts and prayers", Brown said. At least 28 people were injured and crews performed dozens of rescues.

Rescuers frantically combed the mountains of mud, wreckage and boulders which landed on top of the affluent seaside community on Wednesday. The water was flowing out of water mains and coming from fire hydrants. "My dad used to cut his hair".

Among those killed in the mudslides was Mark Montgomery, MD, an orthopedic hand surgeon affiliated with Santa Barbara-based Cottage Health and the Santa Barbara-based private practice Associated Hand Surgeons, according to KSBY-6 News.

"He is in an out-of-area hospital being treated". Caroline, a high school water polo star and a senior at Barnard College in NY, was killed, her uncle said.

Before the next bout of rain hits the area, crews were working throughout the day Saturday to clear debris basins, with officials saying there was still a lot more work to be done.

"Why did she go downstairs?" exclaimed the distraught father as he searched through the remains of his ruined home.

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The Mitchells likewise opted to stay. "We're going to help each other out wherever needed".

Marin County fire Battalion Chief and team member Graham Groneman said they are glad to use their skills to aid the community.

When Clay and Kelly Weimer couldn't reach the Mitchells, they jumped in their vehicle Tuesday and headed south from the Bay Area.

But the Montecito mudslide disaster is not an easy emergency to work.

The 20-year-old, who got her big break on Disney Channel's "Shake It Up", has since deleted the tweet and on Thursday tweeted, "F-k just caught up on some news had no idea why 101 was shut down...get home to your family safe". Maybe the dog was OK.

"I flew over the area this morning, and there's about three-quarters to a mile of water", said Capt. Cindy Pontes, of the California Highway Patrol. "And I don't think Superman would've survived it".

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