A Huge Mudslide Just Tore Through California. This Is The Aftermath

Mike Eliason  Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Mike Eliason Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Farrell said that he, his parents and their dog sheltered in their hallway filled with thigh-high water for over an hour as the flood rushed into their home.

Mudflows traveled through neighborhoods near where Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres have homes."There are 43 people now who may be considered as missing", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

"These mudslides, they call them flash floods for an absolutely good reason". According two the sheriff's office, she was 61. "There hasn't been a sound definition of what constitutes a missing person".

The mudslide areas are under mandatory evacuation orders for at least a week, but the sheriff has cautioned residents to plan to be away for a full two weeks. "There's nearly always more" that could come down, Jibson said.

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

Santa Barbara County Fire Department firefighters respond to mud and debris flow due to heavy rain in Montecito. His is the first death announced from the slide since Wednesday.

Karson, reporting for NPR from Pasadena, Calif., said the mudflows above Montecito were so powerful they ripped some homes off their foundations. There are people who are missing family members.

The dead victims range in age from three to 89.

"Financially that's a burden", she said.

The husbands of both women and the 2-year-old son of Fabiola Benitez, were hospitalized with injuries, Ramos said.

As the names of the 17 California mudslide victims were released Thursday (local time), crews kept digging through the muck and rubble looking for more people.


Numerous young women are most likely from Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and environs.

Between Ventura and Carpinteria, a 30-mile stretch of US 101 remained closed in both directions Thursday because of flooding and mud on the roadway.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted the state's request for expanded federal disaster assistance in response to the devastating mudslides that have impacted Santa Barbara County and the community of Montecito, according to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

The wettest rainstorm of the winter dumped steady rain in fire-ravaged Northern California communities but only some fallen trees and minor rockslides were reported overnight.

Anderson says the number dropped because people were located, but it could continue to fluctuate greatly.

The number of confirmed fatalities remains at 17.

For now, California's mudslides look to be finished, as most of the storm systems have left the area.

Ferrell was not surprised about how many people died.

The youngest, 3-year-old Kailly Benitez, was one of four children killed.

Montecito and Carpinteria are especially vulnerable to mudslides because the steep terrain in some places goes from thousands of feet above sea level to sea level in just a few miles, said Tom Fayram, a deputy public works director with Santa Barbara County.

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