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US Many in Montecito ignored mudslide warnings until it was too late

18:22  10 january  2018
18:22  10 january  2018 Source:   latimes.com

California storm: Cars swept away, body pinned against home

  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.

But many Montecito residents did not heed the warnings . The mudslide that slammed into the family's neighborhood, destroying homes and killing at least 13, happened suddenly in But when the earth began to move, it was too late . The power of the debris flow destroyed everything in its path

Many in Montecito ignored mudslide warnings — until it was too late | Breaking News Subscribe to update lastest news in the world.

MONTECITO, Calif. — Connor McManigal was shaken awake by his father. Flash floods had forced Montecito Creek to erupt, sending torrents of muddy water barreling through the hillsides.

Area destroyed by mudslides was not under mandatory evacuation order

  Area destroyed by mudslides was not under mandatory evacuation order 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. 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.

Опубликовано: 13 янв. 2018 г. Many in Montecito ignored mudslide warnings . Man rescues baby from Montecito mudslide debris - Продолжительность: 2:19 KSBY News 60 470 просмотров.

Read more : After Montecito mudslide , there's disbelief but also determination. The mudslide that slammed into the family's neighborhood, destroying homes But when the earth began to move, it was too late . The power of the debris flow destroyed everything in its path and there was no time to flee.

The two scrambled to escape. But once outside, they were swept up in the deluge and separated. McManigal, 23, was whisked nearly a mile away down the road. His 64-year-old father is still missing.

The mudslide that slammed into the family's neighborhood, destroying homes and killing at least 13, happened suddenly in the early morning darkness. But it was not without warning.

For days, officials advised residents in areas burned by the Thomas fire that a coming storm could bring major mudflows. The McManigals' neighborhood was under a voluntary evacuation order.

Many residents decided to stay. Some assumed the threat was overblown just weeks after the fire triggered similar calls to evacuate.

But when the earth began to move, it was too late. The power of the debris flow destroyed everything in its path and there was no time to flee.

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. The death toll from Tuesday’s mudslides currently stands at 17.

15 Cancer Warning Signs People Ignore until It Becomes too Late - thehealthguide.org. Опубликовано: 13 янв. 2018 г. Many in Montecito ignored mudslide warnings . Historic Homes Among Those Destroyed By Mud Slide In Montecito - Продолжительность: 2:55 CBS Los Angeles

Many in Montecito ignored mudslide warnings — until it was too late . By Corina Knoll , Andrea Castillo , Ruben Vives and Michael Livingston. He said government agencies appeared to be spread too thin to help. Lapidus heard the pummeling about 4:10 Tuesday morning. " It was like a bomb went

"It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere with huge boulders, rocks, downed trees, power lines, wrecked cars," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Tuesday.

The Montecito mudslides take a grim place as one of California's deadliest flooding events in several years. Like several recent disasters, including the deadly wildfires in wine country, it has sparked debate about what could be done to get more people out of harm's way.

Officials said in the days leading up to the storm, a team of people, including meteorologists, Cal Fire, U.S. Forest Service, local firefighters and flood district personnel, worked to estimate where the mudslides would hit.

"This isn't an exact science in terms of actually defining where something is going to happen," Brown said. "Obviously a lot depends on Mother Nature — the magnitude of the rainfall, the magnitude of the mudslides."

California mudslide survivors: 'Mud came in an instant'

  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.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018. " Many in Montecito ignored mudslide warnings — until it was too late " LA Times. HORRIFIC WAY TO DIE, w/ TIME TO THINK ABOUT IT "Passenger on another helicopter says harnesses had knives for emergency |" New York Post.

California mudslide : See the moment debris, mud rushed into Montecito . John Bacon and Megan Diskin, USA TODAY, with Associated Press reports More : Many ignored mudslide warnings until it was too late . More : Latest Santa Barbara numbers: 17 dead and 59 homes destroyed; Highway

Mandatory evacuation orders issued Sunday had focused on foothill communities with about 7,000 people above Montecito, areas closer to where the Thomas fire had burned and that had been rendered less capable of absorbing water and more susceptible to flooding. Deputies had gone door-to-door there Monday night.

Voluntary evacuation orders were issued at the same time for about 23,000 others as the storm approached. "Some residents chose to cooperate with those evacuations," Brown said. "Many did not."

Montecito's troubles began Tuesday at about 2:30 a.m. when pounding rain overwhelmed south-facing slopes and flooded a swollen creek that leads to the ocean. Slabs of earth, boulders and waist-high mudflows careened into homes. Firefighters spent the first hours of daylight making rescues near Montecito Creek north of the 101 Freeway.

The neighborhood hit the hardest lies well below the Thomas fire's burn area. Many residents had remained in their homes.

Bridget Bottoms said she hadn't taken the call to evacuate seriously.

Standing on a door that had been ripped from its hinges, she shivered in her white hoodie. "It sounds foolish, but, it's like, 'How bad can it get?'"

Homeowners allege broken water main super-charged deadly mudslide

  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.

Most homes are without electricity, which brings the darkness close, and the stillness too . And here’s a further irony: the mandatory evacuations in advance of the storm were for the people living closest to the slopes, where it was predicted that the worst of the debris flows would occur, but the less urgent

In pictures: Deadly California mudslides In the days before deadly mudslides devastated Montecito , Santa Barbara County officials released conflicting evacuation By then, it was too late for residents to flee. There were also technical snafus that prevented earlier warnings from getting to residents.

Tom Fayram, deputy Santa Barbara County Public Works director, said it's almost impossible to predict which areas will flood in the event of heavy rains. When debris fills up a channel, the water could break out and go anywhere. That's why officials blanketed the entire area with evacuation warnings, he said, because "there was no way to tell, with the time we had, what's safe and not."

Mapping from the state watershed emergency response team and the U.S. Forest Service indicated there was a higher probability that debris would flow into areas above California 192, Fayram said.

The maps also recognized a serious threat below the highway, which is why officials issued mandatory evacuation warnings for the area north of the highway and voluntary warnings for the area to the south. Officials believe any type of warning — voluntary or mandatory — should be taken seriously.

There are also factors outside of anyone's best guess. The 0.86 inches of rain that fell in less than 15 minutes came at an intensity no one predicted. The National Weather Service threshold for issuing a flash flood warning is 0.2 inches in 15 minutes and 0.3 inches in 30 minutes.

Jason Kean, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist, said mudslides can travel fairly far on steep slopes like the hills above Montecito. "The threat is ongoing here, throughout the rest of the winter season and even into next year," he said. "Just because it's happened once doesn't mean there's not plenty of material to come down in future rainstorms."

"We try to educate people as much as we can, but it's a big challenge."

For Montecito residents, the lesson is in the destruction.

"It feels like this was way worse than the fire," said Susan Moe, who was awakened by her husband at 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday to the sound of a roaring river. Water was hurtling across their backyard.

The couple hadn't packed bags like they did when the Thomas fire raged nearby. In fact, they had given little thought to the rain that had sprinkled throughout Monday.

"We even played a card game before going to bed," Moe said. "It was stress free."

———

(Staff writers Joseph Serna and James Queally contributed to this report.)

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.

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