California Mudslides Dying Toll Rises To 18, Residents Instructed To Evacuate

Phillip Harnsberger crosses through mud from a flooded creek on Sheffield Drive in Montecito Calif

"They are otherwise safe, but unable to get in or out", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said in a Tuesday night press conference. "The floor, felt like it had no support at all, it was rolling underneath me", Barajas said.

Brown said Bleckel had been on the sheriff's missing persons list before he was discovered.

The host opened her show talking to the audience about the devastation before she FaceTimed Winfrey, who lives in the same Santa Barbara County area as DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi.

Riskin, the Montecito real estate agent, is survived by her husband and two children.

"It's not just a wealthy community, it's filled with a lot of different types of people from all backgrounds", she said.

One of California's most celebrated roads, coastal Highway 101, was partially closed, with mud that was two feet deep in places, while in Montecito, mud reached the roof lines of houses, as residents surveyed their damaged homes.

Benitez lived with her sister-in-law, Marilyn Ramos, 27, who was asleep with her daughter, Kaelly, 3, when mud crashed through their Montecito rental home, carrying both to their deaths. He shared the home with his partner, who owned a cafe in Santa Barbara.

The U.S. Forest Service made the announcement Friday after aerial surveys of the 440-square-mile (1,140-square-kilometer) scar left by the so-called Thomas fire.

Officials ordered residents in most of the southeastern corner of Montecito, which is east of Santa Barbara, to leave their homes for what was likely to be one or two weeks.

It continued to smolder before a drenching Pacific storm hit bare hills and mountains this week, unleashing debris-laden flash floods that swept away homes and killed at least 17 people.

Residents of a mudslide-ravaged Southern California town were under orders to clear out Friday as the search for victims dragged on and crews labored to clean up massive debris and fix power, water and gas lines.

"But after the largest fire in California history, it's catastrophic, it's beyond recognizable". She hoped to find them in a shelter or hospital.

Uncertainty remains around the exact number of people still missing, as authorities warned the figure may continue to fluctuate.

Frustrations and dark discoveries mounted for a California town ravaged by a deadly and destructive mudslide. The child's father and 2-year-old sister are reported to be among the missing, according to local reports.

"It is a massive operation that we have underway, still in the search and rescue mode, as mentioned, but as we transition and will transition to a recovery mode, we realize that this is going to be a long and hard journey for all of us and for our community", he said.

The mudslide swept through the coastal community of Montecito on Tuesday morning, catching numerous victims entirely off-guard.

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