Death toll from California mudslides climbs to 18


"I know it sounds like it's a constantly moving number", Brown said.

Several news accounts said that a mudslide swept Roy Rohter, who founded St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, and his wife, Theresa, from their home in Montecito early January 9.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said residents who had stayed behind or tried to check on damage in neighborhoods where homes were leveled and car-size boulders and trees blocked roads and littered properties were hindering the recovery effort. "This is a constantly changing list", he said.The sheriff told reporters all of the victims were from Montecito. No further details were released about his death.

The dead victims range in age from three to 89.

She said the carriages are standing room only, and that the conductors were not bothering to collect tickets.

David Cantin, 49. The father of Lauren Cantin, the 14-year-old girl whose rescue was one of Tuesday's most dramatic stories.

The Benitez brothers are gardeners.

She says Marilyn Ramos doted on her only child, Kailly.

Authorities announced Thursday that 73-year-old Peter Fleurat was among those who died in Montecito.

The number of missing has fluctuated widely after heavy rains unleashed a fury of devastation.

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Barajas, owner of a Santa Barbara restaurant, survived with cuts and bruises and a sprained neck.

Authorities have urged the public to help as crews continued their search for the missing today, while more than 1,200 workers are taking part in the search and cleanup effort.

The US Forest Service announced on Friday that the fire that burned 440 square miles had been fully contained.

The disaster was already unfolding when Santa Barbara County officials sent out their first cellphone alert at 3:50 a.m. County emergency manager Jeff Gater said officials decided not to send one sooner out of concern it might not be taken seriously.

He said on Facebook that 4 feet 9 inches of "raging mud" filled their home and that his vehicle was swept away.

A Southern California community, ravaged by the worst wildfire in the state's history just last month, is now digging out from a horrific mudslide.

Mudslides in Montecito have claimed the lives of at least 17 people, and more than a dozen remain missing. The number provided by county officials earlier in the day was eight missing. "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".

What caused the California mudslides? .

Winfrey, fresh off a Golden Globes speech that inspired calls for her to run for president, posted Instagram photos of the shin-deep mud in her yard and video of rescue helicopters flying overhead. "It just exhausts the crews out there", Sacramento Fire Department Captain Pat Costamagna said.