How Many Missing? California Struggles to Grasp Scope of Mudslide Disaster


A fleet of large trucks and heavy equipment rolled into town Thursday, and the forces on the ground swelled to more than 1,200 workers. She was pulled from a collapsed Montecito home where she had been trapped for hours. "It's like we're on an island".

The destruction covered 30 square miles and more than 2,100 personnel from local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the US Navy and the American Red Cross are involved in "challenging" search, recovery and relief efforts, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. "This is an enormous loss for our community".

Five people are still missing after the mudslides, according to an update on the County of Santa Barbara's website, which warned people to "anticipate the numbers of missing persons to fluctuate significantly".

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

. Groups were supported by K-9 units, helicopters and bulldozers.

At least 28 people have been injured in the mudslides, which have also destroyed 65 single-family homes and damaged 446 more in Santa Barbara County.

Bulldozers have been used to clear roads of tangled trees, muck and boulders as trucks hauled off floodwaters siphoned off US Highway 101, the crippled coastal route connecting Santa Barbara to Ventura. The closure was expected to last until Monday, but after reassessing the damage Friday afternoon, authorities could no longer provide a timeline for when the highway would reopen.

It's unclear how many people actually got the alert. You talk to one cop, you get one piece of information, you talk to another, and you get another piece.

Most people who have evacuated are being told to stay away from their homes for at least two weeks, the Associated Press reported. For days, the county had issued repeated warnings via social media, news media and emails about the potential for mudslides.

It's a long-term effect, too, which means Santa Barbara County will be prone to flooding and mudslides for years to come, potentially. Brown returned to the microphone minutes later to say a call had been received and Keating had been found at a hospital outside the area. "They weren't concerned", Weimer said. 'I would have preferred for them to leave and in hindsight we should have left.

The mudslide swept through the coastal community of Montecito on Tuesday morning (local time), catching numerous victims entirely off-guard. I love that community so much.

These conditions can make it hard - and often risky - for first responders to get to affected areas and provide relief for residents. "I saw several", McAllister added.