Rescue teams face hidden dangers in search for mudslide survivors

Rescue teams face hidden dangers in search for mudslide survivors

Rescue crews worked up to 12 hours a day and risked stepping on nails or shattered glass, or being exposed to raw sewage, or dealing with leaking gas, Page said.

Gater tells the Times more than 200,000 emails and other warnings were issued, but the county decided not to use the push alert system to cellphones out of concern that it might not be taken seriously.

The death toll went up to 18 Friday afternoon, and the number of missing people in Santa Barbara County was lowered to five. "It's martial law here, basically". "So many times over the past 15 years, people have come up to me and [said] to me that when they're going through a tough time, this show helps them through it".

"I just love this place", she said.

More than 1,200 workers have been deployed in the town of about 9,000 residents for the search and cleanup effort. And there are families missing, there are people who are missing family members.

Hundreds of rescue workers slogged through knee-deep ooze and used long poles to probe for bodies Thursday as the search dragged on for victims of the mudslides that slammed this wealthy coastal town.

Forty-three people are still missing, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a news conference Thursday. It was the first death discovered since Wednesday. At least 5 people, including a 2-year-old, remain missing.

"Financially that's a burden", she said. But with the anticipated loss of utilities and sewage running into a nearby creek, "you have to leave", she said. All are residents of Montecito and range in age from 3 to 89.

Several homes have swept from their foundations and residents are unaccounted for as mud flows into Southern California neighborhoods below hillsides scarred by recent wildfires.

U.S. Highway 101 at the Olive Mill Road overpass is flooded with runoff water from Montecito Creek in Montecito. The stretch of the 101 between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara was reopened midday Thursday. United States 101 was shut down temporarily in sections due to the massive amount of mud and debris. The Rohters have been longtime benefactors of the college in Santa Paula.

The hard search goes on in Montecito, California, five days after storm-spawned mudslides roared down from fire-stripped hillsides and smashed through dozens of homes, killing at least 18 people and leaving others missing.

The images also show charred land destroyed by the massive Thomas Fire, which burned for more than a month.

While Montecito is best known as a getaway for the rich and famous - the median home price among current listings is more than $4 million - there are also working families living in modest houses and apartments.

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