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Rescuers Battle to Find Survivors of California Mudslides

14 Janvier 2018

Slowly but surely the floodwaters on the 101 Freeway began to recede.

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.

"Everywhere I turned, there was chaos", Montecito resident Shawn Monroe told the Washington Post. "It's like we're on an island".

"I said, 'We gotta get out of here.' As I turned the vehicle around and I looked in my rear-view mirror, I saw huge boulders the size of my auto rolling on the street behind me, and I went, 'Mother of God, this is like Independence Day, ' so I took off back down to the house", he said. "This is an enormous loss for our community".

At least 18 were killed in the mudslide and as many as seven are still missing, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. "We're affected here in Carpinteria in the sense that we're taking these people in and a lot of people are out of work because they can't travel". One of the victims who lost their lives in the disaster was David Cantin, the father of 14-year-old Lauren Cantin who was rescued after a six-hour effort by first responders on Tuesday.

"Crews continue to search buildings and debris flows for trapped victims". Groups were supported by K-9 units, helicopters and bulldozers.

He said that several dozen homes were destroyed or severely damaged, and that there are probably many more in similar condition in areas still inaccessible.

Bulldozers cleared roads of tangled trees, muck and boulders while tanker trucks were being used to haul off floodwaters sucked up from U.S. Highway 101. You talk to one cop, you get one piece of information, you talk to another, and you get another piece.

Helen Murdoch, a resident of Santa Barbara, described the damage done by the mudslides this way: "I would say it's apocalyptic".

Neighborhoods were littered with uprooted trees and downed power lines, and front yards in homes filled with mud were strewn with boulders.

The sheriff's office also expanded the evacuation zone in the Montecito area on Thursday, as traffic on the already-clogged roads is hindering efforts by rescue and fix crews to access the devastation.

Resident Rob Lowe offered condolences on social media. ". We didn't take it serious (ly) enough".

My lovely home town, just after getting through weeks of wild fire, has been hit by a major storm.

Both Sawyer and Morgan were asleep when mud roared through the area and swept them away along with their home. "They weren't concerned", Weimer said. 'I would have preferred for them to leave and in hindsight we should have left.

The army of search-and-rescue crews and recovery workers swelled to more than 2,100 on Saturday in the coastal enclave about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.

Rescuers Battle to Find Survivors of California Mudslides