Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Before and After Photos Show Extent of Southern California Mudslide, Flood Damage

Before and After Photos Show Extent of Southern California Mudslide, Flood Damage

But within an hour they said they had made a clerical error, and the actual number of missing was eight.

Officials said children were among the dead.

"This number is constantly changing", said Sheriff Bill Brown of Santa Barbara County.

The Montecito mudslides have taken 17 victims and among those, four children have been confirmed dead.

The couple and their three children - a seven-year-old boy, three-year-old girl and a baby - were rescued by the US Coast Guard in Carpinteria, a small oceanside city located in southeastern Santa Barbara County.

The 17 victims range in age from 3 to 89, all residents of the scenic coastal community northwest of Los Angeles.

The cause of Mr Bleckel's death wasn't announced, but all other victims died from multiple traumatic injuries due to a flash flood and mudslides.

In one story that details the extent of the scenes, one rescue worker who thought he was picking up a "muddy doll" from the debris discovered it was actually a toddler.

A member of the Long Beach Search and Rescue team looks for survivors in a auto in Montecito.

"We continue to work down a list of missing people and their addresses and do a much more focused search of that area", Montecito Fire District Deputy Chief Kevin Taylor said during a news briefing Wednesday. Secondary searches also were to be be conducted in areas that emergency crews accessed earlier in the week. Santa Barbara County officials said Wednesday and 20 injured thanks to the onslaught of mud and water.

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While Montecito 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 should have just told her to leave". Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, a Montecito resident ordered to evacuate before the mudslides began, discussed the tragedy Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

"Roy's life has been in service to his good, loving and ever-forgiving God", Van Hecke, a close friend of the Rohters, said in a statement.

It swept entire homes off their foundations and carried them away in a tumult of mud, boulders and debris - along with the unsuspecting residents.

Wally Skalij via Getty Images Mud and debris clog a road next to the Montecito Inn.

Asked by reporters if the operation had shifted from a rescue to a recovery more than 48 hours after the mud came down, the sheriff said his crews had not given up hope. "Some of the locals think there's probably bodies in there". About 65 single-family homes were destroyed and another 446 were damaged. An additional 1,500 homes remain threatened.

They coordinated widespread efforts on several fronts to rescue survivors, protect the population from downed electrical lines, put out raging gas fires from ruptured gas lines and clear debris from roads, and funnel evacuees into the Red Cross Evacuation Centre.

From above, the debris flow appears as a near-endless swath of brown, interrupted occasionally by the roof tiles of inundated homes and clouds of smoke from smoldering structures.

The disaster was already unfolding when Santa Barbara County officials sent out their first cellphone alert at 3:50 a.m. County emergency manager Jeff Gater said officials decided not to send one sooner out of concern it might not be taken seriously.

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