US Area destroyed by mudslides was not under mandatory evacuation order

02:50  10 january  2018
02:50  10 january  2018 Source:   Tribune News Service

Ellen DeGeneres Struggles to Hold Back Tears as She FaceTimes Oprah Following Deadly Mudslides

  Ellen DeGeneres Struggles to Hold Back Tears as She FaceTimes Oprah Following Deadly Mudslides Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey joined together to discuss the Montecito mudslides that have brought deadly destruction to their neighborhood in Santa Barbara County, California. The death toll from Tuesday’s mudslides currently stands at 17.

Devastating mudslides that destroyed homes and trapped residents in Montecito on Tuesday occurred in an area that was not under mandatory evacuation orders , officials said.

Mud fills the interior of a car destroyed in a rain-driven mudslide in a neighborhood under mandatory evacuation in Burbank, California, January 9, 2018. Last month's wildfires, the largest in California history, left the area vulnerable to mudslides .

Devastating mudslides that destroyed homes and trapped residents in Montecito on Tuesday occurred in an area that was not under mandatory evacuation orders, officials said.

‘It was just wiped clean’: Reckoning with the toll of the California mudslides

  ‘It was just wiped clean’: Reckoning with the toll of the California mudslides Stories of the victims in Montecito emerged as authorities searched for those who remain missing.Then came the rain, which sent rivers of water, mud and debris roaring through the scenic coastal community just south of Santa Barbara. When it was over, the Mitchell home was gone, washed down the road toward the ocean. Just a piece of a wall remained, said Clay Weimer, their son-in-law.

Some residents in the Creek Fire burn area are under mandatory evacuation orders . Recent burn areas are susceptible to mudslides and landslides when it rains, since they have little or no vegetation to absorb water or hold hillsides together.

A neighborhood in Montecito, where mudslides ravaged homes near the city of Santa Barbara, had not been put under mandatory evacuation orders before mud from a creek cascaded toward homes, Anderson said. She could not immediately say whether any of the fatalities were in the area that was

Mud from a swollen creek slammed into homes in the 300 block of Hot Springs Road and nearby streets. Several people in Santa Barbara County died in the mudslides, but it’s unclear how many were in the Montecito neighborhood.

The area was not directly in the Thomas fire burn zone, officials said. During the fires, the location was under voluntary evacuation because it was far south of the burn area, so officials issued only voluntary evacuation orders there Monday night as the storm approached.

a close up of a map © Los Angeles Times But in a matter of minutes, pounding rain overwhelmed the south-facing slopes above Montecito and flooded Montecito Creek, which leads to the ocean. That sent mud and massive boulders rolling into residential neighborhoods.

“It’s going to be worse than anyone imagined for our area,” Santa Barbara County Fire spokesman Mike Eliason said. “Following our fire, this is the worst-case scenario.”

Mudslides threaten California areas scorched by wildfires

  Mudslides threaten California areas scorched by wildfires Evacuations were issued for parts of Southern California that were devastated by wildfires as the first major rainstorm of the season threatened the area."This strong storm is expected to produce heavy rain, high winds and extremely dangerous flash flooding, mud and debris flows," Santa Barbara County officials warned. "Flash floods, mud and debris flows can happen with little or no warning.

00:00 Area destroyed by mudslides was not under mandatory evacuation order . Residents of Country Club Drive in Burbank were ordered to evacuate their homes Tuesday after the rains caused a morning mudslide .

BREAKING NEWS Evacuations ordered in SoCal burn areas due to possible mudslides . Mandatory evacuations were issued for about 7,000 people in mountainous areas affected by the Thomas, Whitter, Sherpa Another 23,000 people were under evacuation warnings, officials said.

Eliason and firefighters were on the ground in Montecito and had yet to make it north of Highway 192 — where mandatory evacuations for residents had been issued the previous night. Instead, they spent the first hours of light making rescues near Montecito Creek north of the 101 Freeway. Many residents in the area had remained in their homes.

Firefighters successfully rescued a 14 yr old girl, right, after she was trapped for hours inside a destroyed home in Montecito Tuesday morning. © Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department Firefighters successfully rescued a 14 yr old girl, right, after she was trapped for hours inside a destroyed home in Montecito Tuesday morning.

One person was found under the 101 overpass after a home a half-mile north was hit by floods and the person was carried away, Eliason said.

Crews rescued six people and a dog after four houses were destroyed. The mud lifted up one residence off its foundation and carried it into trees, where it collapsed, Eliason said.

Firefighters used the jaws of life to cut their way into the home, where a firefighter heard muffled cries for help, Eliason said. A rescue dog pinpointed the location of a 14-year-old girl, and two hours later, the mud-covered teen was pulled free. Eliason said he did not know where her parents were.

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  Fires and mudslides have some rethinking the California dream A few who live amid the usually serene beauty and year-round warmth of Santa Barbara County say nature's recent onslaughts of wildfires and mudslides have dampened their California dreams. For Hannah Troy, the twin blows of the Thomas Fire, which scorched parts of Santa Barbara last month in the biggest wildfire in the state's history, and this week's deadly mudslides only deepened her unease about the landscapes around her.

A neighbourhood in Montecito, where mudslides ravaged homes near the city of Santa Barbara, had not been put under mandatory evacuation orders before mud from a creek cascaded toward homes, Anderson said. She could not immediately say whether any of the fatalities were in the area that was

Hundreds of residents were under mandatory evacuation orders . "A major issue will be the burn scar areas , which will be susceptible to flash floods, mudslides , and debris flows," the National Weather Service warned.

A second 14-year-old girl was rescued from the same neighborhood and carried out of ankle-high mud in a basket by a half-dozen firefighters. One woman was found “in a debris field,” Eliason said.

The mud and boulders have blocked access north of Highway 192, and authorities have been relying on helicopters from the U.S. Coast Guard to hoist people out of inaccessible areas, he said. Officials had no estimate on how many people could be trapped or how many homes were damaged.

“We have heavy equipment that’s trying to clear roadways of huge boulders as well as big power lines and trees,” Eliason said.

The mandatory evacuation orders had focused on foothill communities of 7,000 residents above Montecito that were closer to the fire zone, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kelly Hoover. But not everyone heeded that call before the rain started coming down hard at 3 a.m.

“We just had a deluge, a power surge of rain. And we had a report of a structure fire burning in the Montecito area, the San Ysidro area. And it just kept going downhill from there,” Hoover said Tuesday morning. “We have people stuck in their homes, stuck in their cars. There’s downed power lines, flooded roadways, debris.”

By daybreak, 30 miles of the 101 Freeway were closed because of mud flows.

“There’s no way to get from Ventura here, no way for us to get south,” Hoover said. “We’re encouraging people to stay off the roads if they’re in an evacuation area.”

Hoover said dispatchers were being flooded with calls for help.

By 8:30 a.m., 50 calls were pending, she said.

Many in Montecito ignored mudslide warnings until it was too late .
Connor McManigal was shaken awake by his father. Flash floods had forced Montecito Creek to erupt, sending torrents of muddy water barreling through the hillsides.The two scrambled to escape. But once outside, they were swept up in the deluge and separated. McManigal, 23, was whisked nearly a mile away down the road. His 64-year-old father is still missing.The mudslide that slammed into the family's neighborhood, destroying homes and killing at least 13, happened suddenly in the early morning darkness. But it was not without warning.

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