The death toll from the devastating mudslides in southern California has risen to 20
14 January, 2018, 11:24
In the wake of a destruction, a search for survivors expanded Wednesday with assistance from Los Angeles County authorities, the Coast Guard, National Guard and local law enforcement, according to the Associated Press. "Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara".
About 12 miles of northbound lanes between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara also remain closed.
If there is any information on these missing people, please contact the Family Assistance Center at 21 E. Constance in Santa Barbara, or by calling 805-681-5542 and ask for the appropriate person.
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.
The LA Times reports that Montecito is home to mansions owned by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, but most of the damage occurred to more modest homes in the flatlands.
The death toll remains at 15, with 24 people missing.
Last month's spate of wildfires, including the Thomas Fire - the largest in the state's history - stripped hillsides of vegetation and left behind a slick film that prevented the ground from absorbing rainwater.
In the northern part of the state, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, where separate fires had destroyed entire neighborhoods and killed dozens of people past year, were put on watch for flash floods and slides.
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.
More than 2000 personnel are continuing the grim search for survivors
At least 13 people have been killed and 25 injured as a result of the mudslides and flooding in southern California, according Santa Barbara Country Sheriff Bill Brown on Tuesday afternoon.
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Search teams have worked around the clock, locating the dead, rescuing others and evacuating those who were simply stuck in homes but otherwise unharmed. Some roads, he said, were blocked by wreckage - a combination of mud, rocks and other debris, which included parts of houses that had been destroyed. None of the dead have been publicly identified.
Several miles of USA 101, a vital artery in the area, were among many road closures.
Wireless emergency alerts are cellphone messages sent to everyone in a region, similar to the Amber alerts that are sent to cellphone users in specific areas when authorities are trying to find missing children.
A storm that slammed a California coastal community is over.
"Our home has been severely damaged, but we are safe, and so thankful for that and for the first responders who are working tirelessly to save people", he said.
That number has now officially risen to 17.
Winfrey posted a photo of mud in her backyard. "We were laying in bed listening to the rain, and out of nowhere our bed just started shaking, and we could hear just this, like, thunder", she told KTLA-TV.
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