Rescue Operation Continues After Deadly California Mudslides

Elias Hubbard
January 13, 2018

"We have crews out there", said Amber Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The body count as of Wednesday was 15, with 25 reported injured and 50 having to be rescued.

They were to focus first on finding survivors.

According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, another 13 people are still missing, as mudslides continue to wreak havoc in the Golden State.

Two cars were missing from his driveway and he watched two other vehicles slowly move sideways down the middle of the street "in a river of mud", he said.

Search teams, including search-rescue dogs, continued to look for victims into Tuesday evening. With nothing to hold the soil in place, hard-hitting rains have unleashed deadly torrents of mud that surprised many Santa Barbara county residents in their sleep.

Most of the deaths are believed to have occurred in Montecito, a "wealthy enclave that is home to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Ellen DeGeneres", The Guardian says.

He had earlier tweeted that Winfrey's home was a "staging ground for helicopter rescues".

Alongside pictures of the mud in her back garden and a video of a helicopter that had been rescuing her neighbours, she said: "What a day!"

In the map below, produced by ESRI, the likelihood of debris flows in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties is shown.

The girl was trapped for hours in the home, destroyed by mud and debris flows that were powerful enough to move boulders, fire officials said.

"I thought I was dead there for a minute", Cantin, covered head to toe in sludge as she was pulled out of the devastating mudslide, told rescuers. With the wildfires leaving behind a waxy layer of debris that made it hard for water to infiltrate the ground, the downpour caused flash floods in the fire-scarred Santa Ynez Mountains.

The disaster followed a violent rainstorm that dumped as much as 15cm of water onto areas northwest of Los Angeles. Woke up to this blazing gas fire. then swipe left to see how deep the mud is in my backyard.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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