•   
  •   
  •   

US Area destroyed by mudslides was not under mandatory evacuation order

02:50  10 january  2018
02:50  10 january  2018 Source:   latimes.com

Mudslides threaten California areas scorched by wildfires

  Mudslides threaten California areas scorched by wildfires Evacuations were issued for parts of Southern California that were devastated by wildfires as the first major rainstorm of the season threatened the area."This strong storm is expected to produce heavy rain, high winds and extremely dangerous flash flooding, mud and debris flows," Santa Barbara County officials warned. "Flash floods, mud and debris flows can happen with little or no warning.

Devastating mudslides that destroyed homes and trapped residents in Montecito on Tuesday occurred in an area that was not under mandatory evacuation orders , officials said.

Devastating mudslides that destroyed homes and trapped residents in Montecito on Tuesday occurred in an area that was not under mandatory evacuation orders , officials said.

Devastating mudslides that destroyed homes and trapped residents in Montecito on Tuesday occurred in an area that was not under mandatory evacuation orders, officials said.

Families frantically search for loved ones missing in Montecito mudslide

  Families frantically search for loved ones missing in Montecito mudslide SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - As the death toll rose to 15 in the Montecito mudslide disaster, family members continue to frantically look for loved ones who might still be missing. At the evacuation center at Santa Barbara City College, someone had put up a white posterboard, with "message board" scrawled in black. Below, in blue, was scrawled "Augie & Karen Johnson," with a question mark in front of their names. Below and next to it were other names, also with question marks, as people searched for loved ones.One name at the top had been crossed out, with "He is OK" scrawled next to it.

Mud from a swollen creek slammed into homes in the 300 block of Hot Springs Road and nearby streets. Several people in Santa Barbara County died in the mudslides, but it’s unclear how many were in the Montecito neighborhood.

The area was not directly in the Thomas fire burn zone, officials said. During the fires, the location was under voluntary evacuation because it was far south of the burn area, so officials issued only voluntary evacuation orders there Monday night as the storm approached.

a close up of a map © Los Angeles Times But in a matter of minutes, pounding rain overwhelmed the south-facing slopes above Montecito and flooded Montecito Creek, which leads to the ocean. That sent mud and massive boulders rolling into residential neighborhoods.

“It’s going to be worse than anyone imagined for our area,” Santa Barbara County Fire spokesman Mike Eliason said. “Following our fire, this is the worst-case scenario.”

Man hailed as a hero for rescuing baby from mudslides

  Man hailed as a hero for rescuing baby from mudslides <p>First Berkeley Johnson heard the roar, then he saw the rush of mud.</p>"Coming up from the river was just trees dropping, and then I saw it, probably 20 feet high of just rock and cars and trunks of trees, and I just ran for it," Johnson told "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor. So he got up on a roof, but said he thought he could die.

Eliason and firefighters were on the ground in Montecito and had yet to make it north of Highway 192 — where mandatory evacuations for residents had been issued the previous night. Instead, they spent the first hours of light making rescues near Montecito Creek north of the 101 Freeway. Many residents in the area had remained in their homes.

Firefighters successfully rescued a 14 yr old girl, right, after she was trapped for hours inside a destroyed home in Montecito Tuesday morning. © Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department Firefighters successfully rescued a 14 yr old girl, right, after she was trapped for hours inside a destroyed home in Montecito Tuesday morning.

One person was found under the 101 overpass after a home a half-mile north was hit by floods and the person was carried away, Eliason said.

Crews rescued six people and a dog after four houses were destroyed. The mud lifted up one residence off its foundation and carried it into trees, where it collapsed, Eliason said.

Firefighters used the jaws of life to cut their way into the home, where a firefighter heard muffled cries for help, Eliason said. A rescue dog pinpointed the location of a 14-year-old girl, and two hours later, the mud-covered teen was pulled free. Eliason said he did not know where her parents were.

Ellen DeGeneres Struggles to Hold Back Tears as She FaceTimes Oprah Following Deadly Mudslides

  Ellen DeGeneres Struggles to Hold Back Tears as She FaceTimes Oprah Following Deadly Mudslides Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey joined together to discuss the Montecito mudslides that have brought deadly destruction to their neighborhood in Santa Barbara County, California.&nbsp;The death toll from Tuesday’s mudslides currently stands at 17.

A second 14-year-old girl was rescued from the same neighborhood and carried out of ankle-high mud in a basket by a half-dozen firefighters. One woman was found “in a debris field,” Eliason said.

The mud and boulders have blocked access north of Highway 192, and authorities have been relying on helicopters from the U.S. Coast Guard to hoist people out of inaccessible areas, he said. Officials had no estimate on how many people could be trapped or how many homes were damaged.

“We have heavy equipment that’s trying to clear roadways of huge boulders as well as big power lines and trees,” Eliason said.

The mandatory evacuation orders had focused on foothill communities of 7,000 residents above Montecito that were closer to the fire zone, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kelly Hoover. But not everyone heeded that call before the rain started coming down hard at 3 a.m.

“We just had a deluge, a power surge of rain. And we had a report of a structure fire burning in the Montecito area, the San Ysidro area. And it just kept going downhill from there,” Hoover said Tuesday morning. “We have people stuck in their homes, stuck in their cars. There’s downed power lines, flooded roadways, debris.”

By daybreak, 30 miles of the 101 Freeway were closed because of mud flows.

“There’s no way to get from Ventura here, no way for us to get south,” Hoover said. “We’re encouraging people to stay off the roads if they’re in an evacuation area.”

Hoover said dispatchers were being flooded with calls for help.

By 8:30 a.m., 50 calls were pending, she said.

Devastated by mudslides, Montecito has nowhere for debris and more rain is on the way .
The massive cleanup effort is still taking place, with debris ending up at fairgrounds and the beachMud, cars, and remnants of 100-year-old trees now fill 11 debris fields in Montecito.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!