Wednesday, 25 April, 2018


California mudslide devastation seen in satellite photos

Mud fills the interior of a car destroyed in a rain-driven mudslide in a neighborhood under mandatory evacuation in Burbank California mudslide devastation seen in satellite photos
Noah Ferguson | 13 January, 2018, 18:17

Montecito, the California coastal enclave devastated by this week's deadly mudslides, is known as Oprah's hometown. As of Wednesday, 17 people were confirmed dead. That started yesterday immediately after that debris flow.

Within minutes in the early hours Tuesday, deadly rivers filled with mud, rocks and debris roared down from the burn area above Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria toward the ocean, obliterating almost everything in their paths. Four of the victims were children.

After a better look at the damage, officials lowered the number of destroyed homes from 100 to 64 and raised the number of damaged ones from 300 to 446.

"Although we knew this was coming, you couldn't help but be amazed at the intensity of the storm and the result of the mudslide and the water that cascaded down the hills".

The slide also caused a "significant" gas leak, and fix efforts left homes on the street with no gas, electricity or water. "It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere". "Pretty unbelievable", Cordero said, holding back tears. They increased that number after authorities combed through social media posts and message boards at evacuation shelters.

They brought each family member up to the roof, dogs too, and hoisted them up to safety. Riskin is survived by her husband and their two children, her namesake firm said.

Some of the searches had happy endings.

The five missing people included Fabiola Benitez, the mother of Jonathan Benitez, a 10-year-old killed in the flooding.

Olive Mill Road and the Montecito Inn are just up the street from the Coral Casino, and it, too, was transformed by the mudslides.

To the south is the Pacific Ocean and to the west is Santa Barbara and its city amenities. She had no luck.

Drenching storms that hit the freshly scorched ground triggered the mudslides.

"Roads were clogged throughout the region with mudflows shutting down more than 30 miles (50 kilometers) of the 101 Freeway on Tuesday and knocking a number of homes from their foundations".

By Wednesday, some 500 searchers had covered about 75% of the inundated area, authorities said. They were swept away by the mud, but the friend was rescued by clinging to a tree near the house, Scott said. Most of those fire responders were sent home December 23.

"For some reason, she opened the front door" and was swept away, Diane Brewer, one of Gower's friends, told CNN. In 34 years living in Montecito, he had never seen anything like Tuesday morning's deluge.

"At this moment we are still looking for live victims", said Santa Barbara fire Capt. Gary Pitney. "We should have heeded the warning".

She said: "It's not just a wealthy community, it's filled with a lot of different types of people from all backgrounds".

And because of the fire, communities below the scarred terrain could remain at risk of mudslides for years, said Randall Jibson, a research geologist with the US Geological Survey.

"I've never been so close to a fire in my whole entire life, then this", she said. Walls of mud and debris cascaded down hillsides stripped of trees and shrubs by last month's wildfires, including the Thomas Fire, the largest blaze in the state's history.

As she moved around the area, careful not to slip in the mud, she recalled a grim discovery she made Tuesday among the wreckage.

"It was a woman's body", she said.

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