Friday, 17 August, 2018

Death toll from California mudslides climbs to 18

Melinda Barton | 14 January, 2018, 13:15

A Cal Fire firefighter inspects a home that was destroyed by a mudslide on January 12, 2018 in Montecito, Calif. 17 people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed or damaged after massive mudslides crashed through Montecito early Tuesday morning. "I'm told there was about 5 feet (1.5m) of mud".

The area northwest of Los Angeles is home to celebrities such as Rob Lowe, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey.

"I think I'd like to stay out of their way", she said.

'The scariest thing was the sound, ' Farrell said.

"I was screaming forever and ever and ever."

"I am blessed and I am going to do whatever I can for the rest of the community", she said.

"One of the things that I want to talk about is you know, we've had these bad fires all over California and one of the hardest hit areas is where I live in Montecito", she continued. We got it out, got the mud out of its mouth. "We basically just had to get out and leave the gates open for the fire trucks and we're right in it. we're right there". "When they're searching if they come across a scent they can't account for then they'll start alerting". Thanks to these efforts, over 300 people have been rescued from the mudslides by helicopters.

The current death toll of 15 confirmed fatalities could rise, he warned.

Ellen said as predicted by the authorities, the rain caused heavy mudslides in Montecito.

Perhaps one of the most chilling accounts of the disaster comes from Berkeley Johnson and his wife Karen, who escaped onto the roof of their home in Montecito as mud slammed into the building.

More than 500 firefighters helped with overnight search and rescue operations, Orozco says.

Five people were missing as of early Friday, down from as many as 43 a day earlier, said Amber Anderson, a spokeswoman for Santa Barbara County.

The slides closed several historic hotels, including The Four Seasons Biltmore, which had just reopened this week after repairing damage from the wildfires.

The Montecito community will need months, if not years, to completely recover.

Gas and electricity supplies were expected to be cut off in the area on Saturday.

The U.S. Geological Survey, in a study of wildfires and debris flows in Southern California, notes that post-fire debris flows are most common within two years of a fire and are usually triggered by heavy rainfall. "We're getting the opportunity to help our neighbor we're going to go up there and do our best". My property is fine.

Winfrey posted videos on Instagram showing her wading through almost knee-deep mud on her property and later inspecting the damage.

"The house in back is gone", she could be heard saying as she inspected the damage.

A massive winter storm drenched parts of Southern California this week, leading to deadly mudslides.