California mudslides: Oprah, Ellen put spotlight on horrors of Southern California disasters

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The founder of a Roman Catholic school and four children were among the victims of a deadly series of Santa Barbara County, California, mudslides that killed 18 people along the coast, officials said. So again, we evacuated because they feared mudslides.

Marin County fire Battalion Chief and team member Graham Groneman said they are glad to use their skills to aid the community.

Authorities say 18 people are confirmed dead and more than 40 are still missing after the mudslide early Tuesday that swept down the valley and across a major highway.

A mudslide swept Rohter and his wife, Theresa Rohter, out of their home in Montecito. "That is why we have the canines to help us assist in those efforts to either sniff out or guide us to areas potentially that could have other people that need assistance and rescue". Heavy rains were expected, and the loose, fire-charred hillsides above the area would likely wash away, downhill from the Santa Ynez Mountains to the Pacific Ocean with Montecito in between.

Josie Gower was one of 17 people killed by the mudslides in southern California since Tuesday.

The mudslides have wiped out entire blocks of this upscale coastal enclave of 9,000 people near Santa Barbara, destroying some 100 homes and damaging 300 others.

"We've gotten multiple reports of rescuers falling through manholes that were covered with mud, swimming pools that were covered up with mud", said Anthony Buzzerio, a Los Angeles County fire battalion chief. An active search and rescue operation is ongoing, officials said.

There are now five active missing persons cases, Brown said, though that number has continued to fluctuate throughout the week.

"We were expecting rain this week and usually we're grateful for rain, especially in California, but not after the largest fire in the history of California", she said.

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Video shot by Marco Farrell captured the devastating mudslide cascading down a Montecito road. Sleeping nearby was Jonathan Benitez, Kaelly's cousin and Ramos' nephew.

The threat, when tourists stay away: "You just don't have the cash flow to continue", he said.

Photos of Gwyneth Paltrow's home show a mud-plagued yard with parts of her property clearly damaged, the Daily Mail added.

A Go Fund Me page for the family called McManigal "An fantastic man, father of six, and a loving husband". The two had traveled to Italy for five weeks with Josie's children previous year.

Now, we're hearing from that family as they share a message for the fearless group that saved them.

Marveling at the scale of destruction, several firefighters wondered aloud how some areas would ever get back to normal because there's just so much mud covering the ground, never mind the damage to homes and other buildings.

Among those killed in the mudslides was Mark Montgomery, MD, an orthopedic hand surgeon affiliated with Santa Barbara-based Cottage Health and the Santa Barbara-based private practice Associated Hand Surgeons, according to KSBY-6 News. Still, surrounded by her dogs and donated clothing and food, Troy said she's in no hurry to get back.

"I should have evacuated", she said. "And I don't think Superman would've survived it".

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