California mudslide casualties increase to 18

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"As search and rescue efforts continue, Direct Relief is coordinating its response with the Santa Barbara County Public Health and Emergency Services Departments, as well as the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster".

UPDATE (7 p.m.) - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has identified two additional missing persons cases, bringing the total to seven missing people following the mudslides in Montecito.

At noon on Saturday, the evacuation warning issued for areas south of Highway 192 between Ortega Ridge Road to the Santa Barbara County line will be lifted. Hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged and 19 people killed.

The number of missing has fluctuated as people were located, said the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office. At least 17 people died and dozens of residents are still unaccounted for.

Residents in the Montecito Water District - including Summerland - are still being told to boil their water.

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

"We were expecting rain this week and usually we're grateful for rain, especially in California, but not after the largest fire in the history of California", she said. And it made me so proud to live there.

The cleanup was going on near where Weimer's missing parents, Jim and Alice Mitchell, lived.

"The pinnacle of Rebecca's life's work and her lasting legacy lies in Riskin Partners and our enduring commitment to selling Montecito real estate", said Dina Landi, managing partner at Riskin Partners. Seventeen people dead, 28 injured, 43 missing - a number updated by officials due to a clerical mistake.

"We were searching houses, debris fields and basically anything they couldn't visually clear, we would clear with the canines", said Brent Brainard, Decker's handler and captain with San Diego City Fire-Rescue.

State Route 192, which cuts across the foothills, is also unsafe in places, and officials are trying to establish an alternate route as soon as possible.

"It's devastating", Winfrey said.

Californians understand that winter rains can wreak havoc on the scorched earth left by autumn wildfires. "Massive." Ellen also shared a video of the street and the area filled with mud-covered debris from fallen trees to boulders. Members used an arsenal of tools, technology and specially trained dogs to probe piles of debris more than 15 feet deep at the southern end of Romero Creek.

County officials have already ordered residents in most of the southeastern corner of Montecito to leave their homes for one or two weeks to aid the search and recovery efforts.

Torrents like the ones that carved deadly and destructive paths through Montecito, California, during a powerful storm early are commonly described as mudslides, but geologists and emergency workers call them debris flows. The roofs of some homes in canyon runoff areas were encased in mud, which has now dried.

Pitney said many rescues were still happening Wednesday and Thursday, but most if not all were of people who were safe but just wanted to get out of the area.

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