Death Toll From California Mudslides Rises To 19

Paola Ditto
Gennaio 14, 2018

"It's just waiting and not knowing, and the more I haven't heard from them - we have to find them", said Kelly Weimer, whose elderly parents' home was wrecked by the torrent of mud, trees and boulders that flowed down a fire-scarred mountain and slammed into the coastal town of Montecito in Santa Barbara County early Tuesday.

Public Works and Flood Control workers are "racing to open them up as soon as possible", Fayram said. He brings the total of missing to seven.

Most of the residents of Montecito have evacuated.

"This isn't an exact science in terms of actually defining where something is going to happen", said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

"Seemed like just heavy rain", he said.

"He is in an out-of-area hospital being treated".

"The floor, felt like it had no support at all, it was rolling underneath me", Barajas said.

The company confirmed her death in a Wednesday Facebook post. No further details were released about his death. Seventeen people were reported missing.

Authorities believe five people are still missing, aged between two and 30. But Victor Benitez lost one of his sons, 10-year-old Jonathan Benitez, and his wife, Fabiola, is missing. A 14-year-old girl was trapped for hours in mud-soaked rubble on Hot Springs Road and then pulled to safety in a triumphant moment.

"My sister was such a good person, she only thought of others to the point that she would cry with you when you were hurt or sick", said Jennifer Ramos, Marilyn Ramos' sister.

Heavy rains trigged the mudslides in an area ravaged a month before by wildfires.

Patrick Casey, owner of the State & Fig restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara, said he's anxious but expressed confidence that his business, and the community, will snap back.

The number of people missing after the deadly mudslides in Montecito, California, has surged to 48. Most of those fire responders were sent home December 23.

"Turn around! The flash flood's right here, get out of here, go!" he says.

Meanwhile, the Thomas fire that denuded Santa Barbara's hillsides - the largest wildfire in California's recorded history - was finally, on Friday, reported 100 percent contained. On Saturday, authorities said during a press conference that the 19th person killed was identified as 25-year-old Morgan Christine Corey, of Montecito. "There's been plenty of cases where they've found people a week after", Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said.

"There are families missing, there are people who are missing family members", DeGeneres said.

When Winfrey called into DeGeneres' show, she described a tragic scene from her back yard.

The number of confirmed fatalities remains at 17.

As of this writing, there have been 17 known casualties, among which includes at least three children, the youngest being three years of age.

This January 2017, photo provided by Kelly Weimer, shows Jim Mitchell, 89, with his wife, Alice Mitchell, 78, and their dog, Gigi.

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.

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