California storm: Cars swept away, body pinned against home
LOS ANGELES — In the dark of night, Thomas Tighe saw two vehicles slowly being swept away by a river of mud and debris flowing down the road in front of his house in Montecito, California. Daybreak brought a more jarring scene: a body pinned against his neighbor's home by a wall of muck.Tighe is CEO of Direct Relief, a Santa Barbara, California-based charitable organization that helps disaster victims. This time, the disaster was "literally in my backyard, and front yard," he said by phone from Montecito, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.The scene left Tighe shaken.
Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson had an eventful wedding week .No player was more delighted to meet the men and women who fought wildfire in Southern California than outfielder Joc Pederson , whose wedding might not have gone on without them.
Communities are being warned to watch out for mudslides and floods, which are more likely after major fires . The National Weather Service also released a advisory about mudslides for the parts of Southern California in the area near the Woolsey and Hill Fires for Wednesday into Thursday morning.
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers threw open their stadium to firefighters on Monday, welcoming some 350 first responders from Los Angeles and Ventura counties for a round of batting practice, lunch and a chance to meet Dodgers players.
No player was more delighted to meet the men and women who fought wildfire in Southern California than outfielder Joc Pederson, whose wedding might not have gone on without them.
California mudslide survivors: 'Mud came in an instant'
Ben Hyatt rushed to wake everyone up when rivers of mud started banging the doors and walls of his Montecito, California home. "Seemed like just heavy rain," he said. "Five minutes later, heard loud wish sound. Mud came in an instant, like a dam breaking."Hyatt and other residents are recalling the drama that ensued as Tuesday's deadly mudslides and flooding devastated Southern California. Hundreds of rescuers and dogs continued searching for people Wednesday.
The mudslides earlier this week that killed 17 people—eight more remain missing—came as a Chaparral starts to grow back within months; the rains came just weeks after fire crews got the Thomas Fire under control. I drove through that part of the state two weeks ago, and the hillsides were black.
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The wedding was set for Jan. 6 in Santa Barbara.
"It was like a week after the fires," he said. "The mudslide was (about) two days after. Bookend natural disasters. I'd say we were pretty lucky."
He said he and his wife, Kelsey, had booked a resort hotel in Montecito, but the hotel remained closed in the wake of the fires. He said he then booked a luxury hotel in Santa Barbara, but that hotel later decided to remain closed as well.
The wedding itself went off without a hitch - including a special appearance from John Legend, who sang for the newlyweds during the ceremony and at the reception.
"Our wedding was pretty cool," Pederson said.
The couple relaxed in Goleta for a few days, then hit the road before sunrise one morning to catch a flight to Hawaii for the honeymoon.
Homeowners allege broken water main super-charged deadly mudslide
Homeowners in Montecito sued Southern California Edison and the Montecito Water District, saying their failures precipitated last week's killer flood. A group of Southern California homeowners charge that the rupture of a water main during last week's mudslide released as much as 10 million gallons of water into the community of Montecito, overwhelming a flood control system already deluged with heavy rains.
Mudslides develop when water rapidly accumulates in the ground and results in a surge of water-saturated rock, earth, and debris. Mudslides usually start on steep slopes and can be activated by natural disasters.
WASHINGTON — A false alert sent to cellphones across Hawaii on Saturday warning of an incoming ballistic missile is calling attention to an emergency notification system that government officials at all levels say needs major improvements.
"That is when the mudslides hit," Pederson said. "We couldn't get to LAX, so we missed our flight."
The Pedersons eventually flew from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, and then on to Hawaii - where they were greeted one morning with this urgent phone message: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."
It was, of course, a false alarm - and quite the capper to an intensely memorable week.
"It was pretty crazy," he said. "It all worked out."
The week made Pederson all the more appreciative of the firefighters. They saved his wedding venue, he said, and so much more.
"These firefighters risked their lives," he said. "There was a national disaster. They were going 24-7 at it for quite a while, trying to contain the fires. They did a great job. They saved a lot of people, land, houses, animals. I tip my cap to them.
"We can just come out here and give some time and put a smile on their face. It means a lot to them. It's the least we could do."
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Test of US-Japanese missile interceptor fails again .
A test of a US missile interceptor failed in Hawaii on Wednesday, a defense official said, marking the second such unsuccessful attempt in less than a year. The test using the Aegis Ashore system occurred at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai, Missile Defense Agency spokesman Mark Wright said in a statement. Wright said the test was of an SM-3 Block IIA missile, made by arms giant Raytheon and designed to intercept intermediate-range ballistic missiles.A defense official told AFP the test was a failure and investigators have opened a probe.