ibusinesslines.com March 20, 2018

Oprah Winfrey Shows Devastation From California Mudslide in Her Own Backyard

13 January 2018, 07:43 | Jodi Jackson

Calif. Residents Without Power After Powerful Deadly Mudslide

Montecito Residents Without Power After Powerful Mudslide

"What a day! Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara", Winfrey wrote in the caption, noting that helicopters had to rescue her neighbors and were looking for missing persons.

Most deaths were believed to have occurred in Montecito, Santa Barbara County spokesman David Villalobos said.

Nearly the entire community, about 10,000 people, are under a mandatory evacuation order that could last for up to two weeks, Santa Barbara County's fire chief said.

As of Thursday morning, the death toll has reached 17 people and there are now eight missing, according to the Santa Barbara Country Sheriff's Office.

Parts of the major north-south highway Route 101 were closed in both directions and not expected to reopen until next week.

On Thursday, Santa Barbara sheriff Bill Brown said of the missing, "We are certainly searching for a miracle right now". They carried one teenage girl on a stretcher who had been trapped in her flooded home for hours.

The death toll could rise, with rescue workers still picking through dozens of damaged and demolished homes in the search for survivors, Brown said. Mudslides and flows of debris brought by the region's first winter storm have stranded hundreds of people in Santa Barbara County.

The county set up an evacuation shelter at Santa Barbara City College, where some people showed up drenched in mud, and also provided a place for people to take their animals.

The number of missing after a California mudslide has fluctuated wildly, due to shifting definitions, the inherent uncertainty that follows a natural disaster, and just plain human error. Even though the fire started about a month ago, officials say that they don't expect for it to be fully contained until later in January. The wildfire left charred hillsides without vegetation cover to hold the heavy rainfall. "There will be more", Zaniboni said, adding that some of those brought to safety were buried in mud.

MR COLIN FUNK, who fled with his family as thigh-high mud approached their house.

At least 15 people have died and more than two dozen others were injured.

"We're going to be working in the debris piles", McTigue said.

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