First Responders Search For Survivors After Deadly California Mudslides

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Ellen said as predicted by the authorities, the rain caused heavy mudslides in Montecito. "There's been plenty of cases where they've found people a week after", Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said.

Rebecca Riskin, the 61-year-old founder of a real estate firm, was also killed in Montecito, according to the company and local news media.

The two developments reduced the number of missing from seven to five.

A voluntary evacuation for a possible mudslide felt less serious, he said, because most residents had never experienced one, and because each person's interpretation of when to evacuate is different.

It was six at the beginning of an afternoon news conference, but someone called in to say one of the men on the list was at a hospital.

On Friday, the sheriff's office made a plea for information on any of the missing residents, who range in age from two to 62. His is the first death announced from the slide since Wednesday.

"They were told to shelter until they heard a knock at the door", Crail said. No further details were released about his death. Seventeen people dead, 28 injured, eight missing.

Prior to hopping on the phone with Oprah, Ellen, visibly upset during the show, told her audience: "After everything we've been through I think a lot of people thought they were just being overly cautious, but exactly what they feared happened". His brother Victor is Jonathan father and the husband of Fabiola Benitez.

"Some rescues have been gut-wrenching: firefighters pushed through wait-high mud to reach a 14-year-old girl caked in mud from head to toe", Karson reports.

She says Marilyn Ramos doted on her only child, Kailly.

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Two of the victims were killed when their houses were swept away in the mudslides.

Fleurat and his partner, Ralph "Lalo" Barajas, were at home Tuesday when the floor started shaking.

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

During the wildfires last month, Farell looked over the house while his parents evacuated.

For days, officials advised residents in areas burned by the Thomas fire that a coming storm could bring major mudflows.

"We were expecting rain this week and usually we're grateful for rain, especially in California, but not after the largest fire in the history of California", she continued. About 6,000 homes and businesses were without power, and many areas still had no water or sewer service.

The oldest victim swept away in a California mudslide was Jim Mitchell, who had celebrated his 89th birthday the day before.

Authorities had warned that destructive floods were likely because areas scorched by California's wildfires past year stripped the region of much of its water-absorbing soil and foliage.

Crews are using search-and-rescue dogs to hunt for victims.


Santa Barbara fire Captain Gary Pitney said the likelihood is increasing that rescue crews will be finding bodies instead of survivors at this point.

At least 18 people are known to have died in Tuesday's deadly and destructive mudslide in Montecito while seven people are still missing.