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Difficult Search Goes On in California Mudslides

14 January 2018

"Where I am now, which is the east side of my property, I was walking down here and all of my neighbours' homes are gutted", said Oprah.

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

All of those killed died of "multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides", according to the Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office. There were just signs everywhere that said thank you and grateful just everywhere saying thank you to the firefighters and first responders.

"Safety officials just didn't see this happening", said Bastian.

Benitez lived with her sister-in-law, Marilyn Ramos, 27, who was asleep with her daughter, Kaelly, three, when mud crashed through their Montecito rental home, carrying both to their deaths.

Fourteen-year-old Lauren Cantin became the face of survival when rescuers pulled the dazed, mud-covered girl from her flattened home in Montecito earlier this week, but family friends who launched a GoFundMe page reported her father and older brother were still missing.

Barajas, owner of a Santa Barbara restaurant, survived with cuts and bruises and a sprained neck.

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.

"Sunday night, Portia and I got a call that we're under mandatory evacuation again with most of the community of Montecito", she said during her show.

Rescue crews continued to search for survivors amid the mud and wreckage of Montecito's massive debris field on Thursday, but acknowledged that the window to save lives is rapidly closing.

After the Golden Globes, Winfrey said that she returned to her home and was awoken around 3:45 the sound of her dog barking.

The mudslides were caused by heavy rain which sent mud and boulders sliding down the hills stripped of vegetation by the recent wildfires in the area.

Earlier in the day, officials placed the number of missing at eight.

The number of confirmed fatalities remains at 17. Riskin, the founder of Riskin Partners, was among those killed in this week's deadly Montecito, Calif., mudslides.

"They're finding people and bodies and I mean, you hear the word "mudslide" and you have no idea the impact that it has, but after the largest fire in California history, it's catastrophic". He died with his wife of more than 50 years, Alice.

"We have to do whatever it takes", said Capt. Tom Henzgen, leader of a team from the Los Angeles Fire Department.

As their names and those of 14 other victims were released Thursday, crews kept digging through the muck and rubble looking for more people.

The army of searchers and recovery workers in Montecito swelled to more than 2,000 five days after a powerful storm swept in from the Pacific and dumped a deluge on mountain slopes above the coastal enclave that were burned bare by a huge wildfire in December.

Difficult Search Goes On in California Mudslides