Race in opposition to time to seek out California mudslide survivors

Olive Hawkins
January 13, 2018

When it did they climbed out of their home of 40 years with their three-legged dog, Lucas, and were rescued by a passing firetruck.

Riskin spent 37 years in the industry and rose to prominence selling Montecito's most distinguished properties and building up her firm, an affiliate of Village Properties Realtors comprised of five highly-skilled agents, including her own son Robert.

The Montecito mudslides have taken 17 victims and among those, four children have been confirmed dead. Emergency crews continued Thursday to rescue residents, at times by helicopter, from some of Montecito's still-impassable neighborhoods. "We are heartbroken over the loss of lives in our community". He added, however, that "the likelihood is increasing that we'll be finding bodies, not survivors". "You have to start accepting the reality of that".

"I ran as fast I could and yelled, "Flash flood!' as I passed neighbors" homes", he said. The names were released following the notification of next of kin.

The youngest victim, Kailley Benitez, three, died alongside her mother and 10-year-old cousin.

The death toll in California's mudslides now stands at 17.

"Floodwaters and mudslides destroyed 65 homes and damaged 462 other residences", spokeswoman Susan Klein-Rothschild said Thursday, according to CNN. Bleckel was among those on the missing persons list, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

"We do understand that the closure of Highway 101 is causing great hardships for many, many people", Pontes said.

"We're starting to get to the phase where people are actually calling in and saying, 'If you're looking for me, I'm OK, '" Elms said.

Among the searchers were more than a dozen firefighters who climbed through rubble in the backyard of a mansion that had been torn apart. Two black Labrador retrievers swam around a debris-filled swimming pool, trying to pick up any scent.

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One of the survivors of this week's deadly mudslides in Montecito was the subject of one of the most dramatic rescues to take place when she was pulled covered in mud from a collapsed house.

It was another hard turn for those living in the Southern California town that has been subject to repeated evacuation orders in recent weeks, first because of a monster wildfire last month, then because of downpours and mudslides.

"A majority of Montecito and that whole area is in the Stone Age right now", said Mike Eliason, public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Actor Jeff Bridges tweeted that he and his family were affected.

Trashed areas were awash in a sea of mud, with only the tallest trees standing and some homes buried up to their roofs.

Emergency workers search areas damaged from storms in Montecito, Calif., Jan. 11, 2018.

After a better look at the damage, officials lowered the number of destroyed homes from 100 to 64 and raised the number of damaged ones from 300 to 446.

In one of the worst-hit areas of Montecito, mud blew through doors and windows, filling the interiors of houses with muck and debris. The two had traveled to Italy for five weeks with Josie's children a year ago.

"I think I'd like to stay out of their way", she said. "I love this community".

The family rode out the storm unharmed on kitchen counters as the debris smashed through the walls and water swirled around them. Winfrey also revealed that while she didn't need to evacuate from her home, she was told that she wouldn't have running water or gas.

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