Rescuers continue to search for people in rubble of United States mudslide


The names of 17 victims of the flooding and mudslides in Montecito were released Thursday by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. "Obviously a lot depends on Mother Nature, on the magnitude of the rainfall, the magnitude of the mudslides and so forth, and I think what was put together by a team of people, meteorologists, Cal Fire, our Forest Service people, our firefighters and personnel from the flood district and so forth, made a best-guess estimate as to where this was going to occur, and as it turns out they were exactly right that this was going to hit". It was so incredibly harrowing", said Brian O'Dea, author of "High: "Confessions of an International Drug Smuggler". Downed power lines wrapped around trees at one property, while elsewhere the lines dropped nearly to the ground.

At the beginning of the clip, Farrell is seen yelling at a auto driving up the street, telling the driver turn around because the flash flood is right in front of them. They are instant, they are a six-foot wall of mud moving 40 miles an hour, it moves whatever it wants.

O'Dea, originally from St. John's, was jailed as a young man for drug smuggling, but is now an author, film and television producer.

Although O'Dea's house was spared, his celebrity neighbours Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bridges had their own brushes with disaster.

'There was evacuation fatigue from the fire, ' Farrell said.

First the worst fire in California history, then torrential rains, have brought down whole hillsides in Montecito, an upscale village in Santa Barbara County.

"I said, 'We gotta get out of here.' As I turned the auto around and I looked in my rear-view mirror, I saw huge boulders the size of my vehicle 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. I mean, it was apocalyptic. "I would have preferred for them to leave and in hindsight we should have left". But when it hit his back fence, the flow split in two. It took houses off their foundation.

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"But realistically we suspect that we are going to continue to have discovery of people who were killed in this incident". At least 64 homes have been destroyed and at least 400 damaged.

"It is a massive operation that we have underway, still in the search and rescue mode, as mentioned, but as we transition and will transition to a recovery mode, we realize that this is going to be a long and hard journey for all of us and for our community", he said.

"Crews are working day and night to clear the road ways".

Yesterday, 87-year-old Joseph Bleckel was found dead in his Montecito home, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.

More than two dozen people were injured in the mudslides, member station KCLU reports. Video shows river of mud rushing down Montecito street as family scrambles for safetyThe victims range in age from 3 years old to 89 and all were residents of Montecito.

As California is at the beginning of its rainy season, O'Dea says he's anxious about how people will make it through.

"I told her to stay on the second floor, but she went downstairs and opened the door and just got swept away", her son, Hayden Gower, told NBC affiliate KSBY.