Friday, 06 December, 2019


Death toll in Southern California mudslides rises to at least 20

Death toll in Southern California mudslides rises to at least 20 Death toll in Southern California mudslides rises to at least 20
Bennie Garza | 15 January, 2018, 22:18

The reopening of the 101 Freeway in Montecito remained unclear Saturday as crews continued to clear out mud, water and debris from a portion of the highway. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department created a page with the names, ages and photos of people who were still missing.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access. The move allows officials to release resources that are no longer needed and allow search operations to slow to a safer pace, he said.

Though the number of Montecito homes insured outside the government program was unavailable, it is the dominant source of flood coverage nationally. Amtrak has seen standing-room crowds since it became the only ground transportation between Santa Barbara and points east after tracks were repaired last Thursday.

The 101 Freeway remained closed due to the mud and debris strewn across it on Sunday. His 6-year-old son, Peerawat, nicknamed Pasta, and his 79-year-old father-in-law, Richard Loring Taylor, were also killed in the mudslides.

Authorities say four people, including Sutthithepa's daughter, have been reported missing.

Public works crews and local contractors are working to try to restore power, gas and water service to the Montecito area. County officials addressed the service, encouraging the citizens of Santa Barbara to unite in their grief and to support those who have lost loved ones in the flooding. They said the victims were their friends and neighbors. Firefighters went door to door along several blocks, checking the structural integrity of the damaged homes.

Authorities found another victim Sunday, raising the death toll to 20. Workers used backhoes, jackhammers and chain saws to clear away masses of mud, boulders and toppled trees.

The death toll rose to 20 on Sunday, authorities said, and four people remained missing. The coroner's office would identify the latest victim, he said. Churchgoers, like the mourners at the courthouse, joined together in prayer for the families affected by the mudslides and held candlelight vigils of their own.

Still, the 20 fatalities confirmed in and around the affluent community of Montecito, 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles in the coastal slopes adjacent to Santa Barbara, ranks as the greatest loss of life from a California mudslide in at least 13 years. The event will include an interfaith service. After a better damage assessment earlier in the week, a total of 64 homes were destroyed, while 300 to 462 were damaged.

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