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


As rescuers continued to dig through mud, rocks and flattened homes, Sheriff Bill Brown said crews found the 18th victim, 87-year-old Joseph Bleckel, in his Romero Canyon-area home late Friday morning.

"They were in a voluntary evacuation area so they figured they were OK", said Weimer, who has been frantically searching for her parents for more than a day.

"Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was another Montecito resident impacted by the storm".

Winfrey also asked some passing firefighters to speak about their recovery efforts in the area as she and DeGeneres praised them for their efforts. It doesn't take much rain to trigger this.

"You don't know the power of a mudslide", Degeneres said.

"Roads were clogged throughout the region with mudflows shutting down more than 30 miles (50 kilometers) of the 101 Freeway on Tuesday and knocking a number of homes from their foundations. I live there, Oprah lives there", she went on.

Morgan Corey, 25, is still missing after the mudslides in Montecito, Calif., destroyed their family home on Tuesday.

Santa Barbara County's Montecito community has been reeling following deadly mudslides from heavy rains upon a fire-ravaged landscape.

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She says some missing-person reports are rapidly cleared while others take a long time to resolve. Debris from the storm further caused a ruptured gas line, as captured by Winfrey in an Instagram video she posted on Tuesday. "I understand that no one really understands what's going on, but it's been really hard being here", resident Anais Berman said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted the state's request for expanded federal disaster assistance in response to the devastating mudslides that have impacted Santa Barbara County and the community of Montecito, according to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

"Where I am now, which is the east side of my property, I was walking down here and all of my neighbours' homes are gutted", said Oprah.

Many fled to nearby Carpinteria, where local resident Tessa Nash said more than a few were communicating via a Facebook page called Carpinteria Swap, which is usually focused on the buying and selling of secondhand goods. She saw that the "sky seemed like it was on fire". "I got back over the holidays and I just drove around". "We are heartbroken over the loss of lives in our community".

"That's always our mentality: 'Hey, we're going to find someone alive, '" Deputy Dan Page, chief of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, told the AP. "We're gonna come together and we're gonna do what great Americans do all the time and we're gonna help each other".

"The next rain, I can't imagine why we're going to experience anything different".

"We need that number to effectively meet our objectives", Anderson said.