Anxious family members awaited word on loved ones Wednesday as rescue crews searched grimy debris and ruins for more than a dozen people missing after mudslides in Southern California destroyed an estimated 100 houses, swept cars to the beach and left at least 17 victims dead.
The drenching storm that triggered the disaster gave way to sunny skies, as hundreds of searchers carefully combed a messy landscape strewn with hazards.
Much of the community remains under mandatory evacuation orders. "The mud is acting like a candy shell on ice cream". "To get people here takes time and we're finally getting that request for influx". The muddy debris also lead to roads closing. They used long-handled tools to search the muck in the painstaking task.
Red Cross officials said about 30 people stayed on cots at the shelter in Santa Barbara on Wednesday night and there was plenty of space remaining for Thursday evening as needed. "There's been plenty of cases where they've found people a week after", Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said.
"Most injuries we saw were related to fast-moving debris", Wilson said. "When those go down, you have to leave".
A further eight commercial buildings were destroyed while 20 others were damaged.
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Ellen Degeneres was forced to flee her home in the wake of the Californian mudslides.
At one point, a Coast Guard helicopter rescued a family of five and their two dogs.
When Winfrey called into DeGeneres' show, she described a tragic scene from her back yard. She and her newborn were hoisted to safety, followed by the rest of the family.
The "Finding Dory" actress went on to add that she considers the area her "home", and become emotional as she spoke about the devastation.
Peter Hartmann said power lines were down and aluminum poles were snapped in half.
A map of current evacuation orders and warnings can be found here.
Authorities are hoped to find them alive. "That's their forever home", Weimer said.
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"We totally thought we were out of the woods", said Jennifer Markham, whose home escaped damage in both disasters. "I'm told there was about 5 feet (1.5m) of mud".
They were made to evacuate over fears of mudslides.
In its first hours of the effort, which began with the words, "We wanted to inform you of a awful event that has occurred within the NeoTract family", almost $30,000 was pledged. "So many times over the past 15 years people have come up to me and say to me that when they're going through a tough time this show helps them through it".
Ramos, a stay-at-home mom, was sleeping in her bed along with her daughter Kaelly Benitez when mud crashed through their rental home.
Farrell planned to float his elderly parents to a hillside on a surfboard, but it was unnecessary.
Farrell spoke to ABC 7 Thursday morning, saying they took shelter in a hallway at the back of the house, standing in thigh-high mud for more than an hour. "But they're talking two weeks of closure".
According to the Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office, these are the names of those killed this week when heavy rain unleashed flash floods, mudslides and debris flow in the southern part of the state.
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