Wild swings occur in numbers of California mudslide missing

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Terrifying video shows the moment a river of mud started coursing down a southern California street - as the death toll in the mudslides has been raised to 17.

Mr Johnson told the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper that the pair joined a fireman to dig the toddler out, before scooping mud out of her mouth. On Thursday they believed dozens were unaccounted for, but the number was revised down.

Mandatory evacuation orders were expanded Thursday evening to Montecito areas below Highway 192/Foothill road, a move Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said is meant to increase access for rescue and fix crews working in the area. "Every day that goes by the chance dwindles, but we have every resource on the line and we're still in that rescue mentality". The order helps ensure there's the staffing and resources needed to continue to respond to the ongoing disaster and expedite debris removal. The sheriff's office told CBS News it issued voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders based on the best information they had, but the rain fell much faster and harder than expected.

"We're going to do what we do", Winfrey said.

A Cal Fire firefighter inspects a home that was destroyed by a mudslide on January 12, 2018 in Montecito, Calif. 17 people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed or damaged after massive mudslides crashed through Montecito early Tuesday morning.

Southern California authorities have corrected the number of people missing since the Montecito mudslides to eight.

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Searchers had checked most of the debris zone for victims and some were doubling back to leave no stone unturned Thursday when a crew ended up in the backyard of Bill Asher, who lost his palatial home and a similar one he was building next door.

"But we're going to do what we do".

"The main target, you would swear, was [their] house", said Weimer, 59, a software engineer. As the heaviest rain bands centered over Santa Barbara County, officials urged residents to "shelter in place or move to higher ground" instead of attempting to flee any fast-moving mudflows. The Associated Press described a "torrent of mud, trees and boulders that flowed down a fire-scarred mountain and slammed" into Montecito in Santa Barbara County Jan. 9. "(It) surrounded the house, 2 to 3 feet". I would have preferred for them to leave and in hindsight we should have left. I don't know how I got lulled'. "I feel like I escaped". "All of the neighbors' homes are gutted", she said. Tige said he was checking the downspouts of his home around 3:30 a.m. when the storm picked up. The local television news stations sent their youngest, prettiest, local reporters to stand in that mud for hours, reporting the most unimaginable sights of their young lives.

Several homes were swept away before dawn Tuesday when mud and debris roared into neighborhoods in Montecito from hillsides stripped of vegetation during a recent wildfire.

Between Ventura and Carpinteria, a 30-mile stretch of USA 101 remained closed in both directions Thursday because of flooding and mud on the roadway.