California mudslide death toll rises to 19

Phillip Harnsberger crosses through mud from a flooded creek on Sheffield Drive in Montecito Calif

California mudslide death toll rises to 19

The death toll rose to 19 on Saturday and one person was found alive the same day as the hunt continued for five people who remain missing, Cooper said.

For truckers driving south, the San Paso Truck Stop at the Wellsona Road-Highway 101 intersection is one of the last waystations before they would need to exit Highway 101.

The mudslides now cover a 30-square-mile area, and the threat of additional mudslides will continue over the next several days.

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

The Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office on Thursday released the names of 17 people killed in Tuesday's mudslides.

Among those killed in the mudslides was Mark Montgomery, MD, an orthopedic hand surgeon affiliated with Santa Barbara-based Cottage Health and the Santa Barbara-based private practice Associated Hand Surgeons, according to KSBY-6 News.

In updating the missing figure, Brown said that the precise number could fluctuate significantly.

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The husbands of both women and the 2-year-old son of Fabiola Benitez, were hospitalized with injuries, Ramos said.

The damage above Montecito isn't absolute.

Flash floods swept down hillsides, unleashing torrents of mud, and uprooted trees and boulders into the valley below.

The searches themselves are slow, largely because the mud is so hard to walk through and hides myriad dangers. The McManigals' neighborhood was under a voluntary evacuation order.

A few streets away, Abbe and Gary Shaw counted their blessings.

Marco Farrell, recorded the deluge of brown, muddy water come crashing past his home, dragging debris from destroyed houses and cars with it. Like many, the couple described hearing explosions during the slide as gas lines ruptured and exploded.

"They are hopeful that we will still recover live victims out there", said Amber Anderson, public information officer for the multi-agency response team.

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After the dogs are trained, they are partnered with firefighters and first responders.

From an aerial view, the community that is home for celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bridges, looked like two vastly different places.

Friday morning, the couple walked down to a security checkpoint near their home to get an update from the California Highway Patrol officer stationed there.

The opening date is "truly unknown", she said, especially with more rain expected at the end of next week. People who are in their homes waiting to be rescued, they don't know what's happening because there's no power, there's no water. "What would we have done with the animals?"

The so-called Thomas fire, which led to the floods, was declared fully contained Friday.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said: "We've got a window that's closing but we're still very optimistic we've got some time".

Mr Johnson told the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper that the pair joined a fireman to dig the toddler out, before scooping mud out of her mouth.

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