California mudslide: Death toll rises to 17, many missing

California mudslide: Death toll rises to 17, many missing

California mudslide: Death toll rises to 17, many missing

The Catholic school's headmaster, Michael Van Hecke, announced the death and said Rohter's wife was injured by the mudslide.

This photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department shows a home that has been buried in flood debris in Montecito, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. Eight people are still missing.

"The sooner we can get people in to assess and fix the damage, the sooner we can get things back to normal", the sheriff said.

These before and after images show the extent of the damage in Montecito.

"No one could have guessed this", Diane Brewer said.

He was two blocks from home when he heard a rumble that he realized was the mudslide he feared.

"California is not my favourite place, it never has been", she said, lamenting the state's drought and fires and citing OR and Canada's British Columbia as places she would rather live.

Hundreds of rescuers are combing wreckage in Southern California for those missing after mudslides that have killed 17. "I'm wondering if my friends are alive". "What a day!" so she captioned the post. "I'm told there was about 5 feet (1.5 m) of mud".

She added: "It was always a full a life with Josie".

Reichlen said he had emergency food supplies and water but no hot food, and was trying to figure out a way to get safely out of the canyon.

"I send love to all the families and the incredible rescue workers braving these mudslides", she posted on Twitter. Many turned to social media in their search.

Muniz says a search of the stricken area is continuing.

Rebecca Riskin, the founding partner of Montecito real estate company Riskin Partners, also died, the company said. In Los Angeles, a police cruiser got swamped in tyre-deep mud. Riskin began selling real estate in Los Angeles and moved to Montecito almost three decades ago.

A wall of water carrying uprooted trees and boulders moved like a river through the residential street.

"All hell broke loose", said resident Peter Hartmann.

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"There were gas mains that had popped, where you could hear the hissing", he said. Utility crews began the laborious task of repairing downed power lines and snapped telephone poles. "Take protective actions to stay safe. and do not attempt to leave and drive across flowing water or mud".

Dozens of homes were destroyed, dozens more were damaged, and the debris area spread over 30 square miles, said Amber Anderson, a Santa Barbara County spokeswoman.

"While some residents cooperated with the evacuations, many did not".

Sheriff deputies spent Monday conducting door-to-door evacuations in the mandatory evacuation area.

Officials defended their decision not to issue a mandatory evacuation order for the area that was hit hardest by the storm.

"We are still very much in active search-and-rescue mode", said Chris Elms, a spokesman for Cal Fire, cautioning that the death toll may still rise.

Without vegetation to make the terrain more resistant to mudslides, boulders and other debris rolled down onto roads and homes Tuesday. That's my neighbor's house. Winfrey said debris is "everywhere".

"Thanks everyone for your prayers and concern", she captioned the video, assuring viewers that, "my property is fine".

Another storm-related death was reported in Northern California, where a man was killed when his vehicle was apparently struck by falling rocks in a landslide Tuesday evening in Napa County.

One man, who wished only to be identified as Mikey, trudged through the Montecito mud with a shovel in hand.

"Most injuries we saw were related to fast-moving debris", Wilson said.

Mud swamped a hotel on Coast Village Road. One such piece of equipment grabbed a piece of a vehicle.

Rainfall rates exceeding one inch per hour at times contributed to the damaging mudslides in portions of Southern California.

"I work in L.A. but I consider Montecito my home", she said.

For Hannah Troy, the twin blows of the Thomas Fire, which scorched parts of Santa Barbara last month in the biggest wildfire in the state's history, and this week's deadly mudslides only deepened her unease about the landscapes around her. It's 92% contained, and officials don't expect full containment until later this month.

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