California mudslide: 'Window closing' for missing as death toll rises to 18

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Mandatory evacuations were ordered for about 700 homes in sections of Los Angeles County that burned last month in the biggest wildfire on record in California. Thanks to these efforts, over 300 people have been rescued from the mudslides by helicopters.

The Thomas Fire, in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, is 92 percent contained and has burned over 280,000 acres and destroyed almost 1,000 structures, leading to risky mud and debris flows following recent heavy rains.

US Coast Guard officials rescue a family including a young child from their home that was severely damaged after a mudslide.

Her firm, Riskin Partners, credited the former ballerina with having closed more than $2 billion in high-end real estate sales since she founded the company in the early 1990s. "This is devastating", said a homeowner.

Weinert's house was somehow spared but one of his neighbors, Riskin, was swept to her death.

Rohter was swept away in a mudslide and did not survive.

In an Instagram post, the media mogul said she woke up to a blazing gas fire and then found shin-deep mud in her backyard.

Personnel with the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office have been assisting Santa Barbara County officials in the Montecito flooding disaster.

"My sister was such a good person, she only thought of others to the point that she would cry with you when you were hurt or sick", said Ramos' sister, Jennifer Ramos, pausing to sob for several seconds. "So our missing list is down to five", Brown said.

She said: "It's not just a wealthy community, it's filled with a lot of different types of people from all backgrounds". Sawyer Corey and 25-year-old Morgan were initially pronounced missing.

Mud nearly four feet high was inside their home in a matter of seconds.

Boulders are strewn in front of an entrance to the Riven Rock neighborhood in Montecito.

"He said so many times that after his passing, 'Make sure everyone prays for my soul.' We will, Roy!"

Caltrans crews are working to fix inundated portions of Highway 101, but the freeway isn't expected to be reopened until Monday at the earliest, according to CHP Capt. Cindy Pontes.

The storm walloped much of the state with damaging winds and thunderstorms.

More than 1,200 workers taking part in the search and cleanup effort flooded into the town with a population of about 9,000.

Handout. / Reuters A man is rescued from flood waters and debris in Montecito.

"They're not going to find survivors anymore".

This story will be updated as more information becomes available about the people who lost their lives in Montecito.

Before the news conference had ended, Brown returned to the microphone, and with a happy tone said a phone call had just come in about Keating. "That was the last I heard of him".

Trashed areas were awash in a sea of mud, with only the tallest trees standing and some homes buried up to their roofs.

A semi-tractor trailer sits stuck in mud on U.S. Highway 101, in Montecito.

"He was in the mud calling her name for hours", said Alastair Haigh, Gower's 37-year-old son-in-law. Some remained in hotels and family guest rooms or on friends' sofas for more than a week, feeling like holiday burdens or worrying about unexpected housing bills.

It wasn't until 3:50 a.m. Tuesday that Santa Barbara County officials sent an alert through a federal wireless system that buzzes every cellphone within range of a working tower, similar to an Amber Alert.

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