Monday, 20 August, 2018

Southern California Mudslides Victims Vary In Age From three To 89

Phillip Harnsberger crosses through mud from a flooded creek on Sheffield Drive in Montecito Calif Heavy Rains Create Traffic Nightmare; Prompt Shut Down of 101 Freeway in Santa Barbara, Ventura
Herman Weaver | 15 January, 2018, 12:23

The death toll from Southern California mudslides that swallowed dozens of homes and forced the closure of a major highway along the picturesque Santa Barbara County coast rose to 20 on Sunday, with four other people still reported missing. Flooding and debris flow prompted the California Highway Patrol to shut down the northbound 101 Freeway at Route 126 in Ventura and at Seacliff, and the southbound 101 Freeway just south of Santa Barbara at Milpas.

David Cantin, 49, was the father of 14-year-old Lauren Cantin, whom rescuers pulled from her Montecito home earlier this week, the Associated Press reported.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown says the body of missing 25-year-old Morgan Christine Corey woman was found Saturday.

Revealing there are still families missing from the "tight-knit" neighborhood, the daytime host made sure to note the community is "filled with a lot of different types of people from all backgrounds" who aren't all wealthy A-listers. Then, later Thursday, officials updated the number again, saying there were actually 43 people still unaccounted for.

A mandatory evacuation order has been extended, as Santa Barbara's County Sherriff said residents staying behind were hindering recovery efforts.

The cause of death for all 17 victims who perished will be listed as multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's office said in a statement on Thursday. The mudslides destroyed at least 65 homes.

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"I came around the house and heard a deep rumbling, an ominous sound that I knew was the boulders moving as the mud was rising", he told the AP. "Which could be an entire body or it could be part of a body. That is why we have the canines to help us assist in those efforts to either sniff out or guide us to areas potentially that could have other people that need assistance and rescue".

Cullen said the work has been exhausting and, at times, emotional. You don't know the power of a mudslide.

"They are hopeful that we will still recover live victims out there", said Amber Anderson, public information officer for the multi-agency response team. "The mud is acting like a candy shell on ice cream".

Current estimates suggest there are still more than 6,000 people in "moderate" danger zones, more than 3,300 in "low" danger zones and just less than 1,000 living in "high" danger zones. Because hundreds of thousands of acres were charred in the fires, the influx of water has nowhere to go.

Montecito is best known as a getaway for the rich and famous - the median home price among current listings is more than 4 million dollars (£2.9m) - although there are also working families living in modest houses and apartments. The roofs of some homes in canyon runoff areas were encased in mud, which has now dried.

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