Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Search Continues for Missing People in Montecito Mudslides

Search Continues for Missing People in Montecito Mudslides

Residents in Montecito woke to crashing noises and knee-deep muck, posting videos on social media of thrashed homes and cars in a thick, soupy water. With no mandatory evacuation order or apparent need to worry, hundreds of people were caught off guard and ill-prepared for the deadly mudslides that flowed through the area. The number provided by county officials earlier in the day was eight missing. Edhat is providing these posts in case anyone has an update that can help the families.

Roy Rohter has been confirmed to be deceased, according to KEYT News. They carried one teenage girl on a stretcher who had been trapped in her flooded home for hours.

He said it's likely they'll find more people amid that destruction.

The number of missing was reduced on Thursday from the Wednesday figure of 17 in Montecito, where a winter storm caused a sudden landslide of mud and debris that devastated the area, destroying dozens of homes.

Brown did say that of the 17 people he announced were missing Wednesday, some were identified as among the dead and were crossed off the list. Emergency officials believe at least 20 people are unaccounted for in the community.

Bill Brown, sheriff of Santa Barbara, said: "The best way I can describe it is, it looked like a World War One battlefield".

Some 500 firefighters and other rescue workers were searching debris spread across a wide area of Montecito, a wealthy area of about 9,000 people northwest of Los Angeles.

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The caller said a man was acting insane , claimed he had a gun and threatened passengers. There was four or five people telling him he needs to sit back down, he refused to.

"We would have evacuated", she said.

With heavy rain forecast, authorities had ordered evacuations beneath the burned areas of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, but only 10 to 15 percent of residents heeded the orders, according to the Santa Barbara police department.

Thomas Tighe said he stepped outside his Montecito home in the middle of the night and heard "a deep rumbling, an ominous sound I knew was ... boulders moving as the mud was rising".

ROTT: The mudslides have closed roads, including a section of the Pacific Coast Highway.

The fires started in early December and were the biggest recorded in the state.

Ellen DeGeneres also shared an image of the devastation near her home on Twitter, saying: 'This is not a river.

Officials said numerous deaths are believed to be in the coastal Montecito area, where mudflows and floodwater have inundated areas downstream from where the Thomas Fire burned thousands of acres last month.

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