Death toll climbs to 18 in massive Montecito mudslide

The luxury hotel, which has counted Audrey Hepburn, Winston Churchill and honeymooners John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy as guests, is edged by a creek that became a torrent of boulders, toppled trees and muck in the mudslide. U.S. Route 101, California's primary coastal route, remains partially shut down.

"It's not just a wealthy community", DeGeneres said. "It was just wiped clean". "So our missing list is down to five", Brown said.

Watch this segment where DeGeneres gets emotional describing going from one disaster to the next in the town of less than 10,000 people here "everyone kind of knows everyone". "Everybody in the path of that was doomed".

Rainfall totals on Tuesday afternoon ranged from 3 to 5 inches in the mountains in Ventura County and 2 to 3 inches in the mountains of Santa Barbara County. James Mitchell was the oldest, at 89.

Mr Farrell said he and his family were able to escape injury by hunkering down in a hallway at the back of the house and standing in thigh-high mud for more than an hour before they were rescued. People had packed up, left and come back, and some weren't so eager to leave again.

Finally, many Montecito residents ignored the initial warnings.

Alice Mitchell, 78. Retired schoolteacher.

Now, three days in to a mandatory evacuation order they chose to ignore, the Shaws said they're determined to ride out what could be a multi-week closure.

"There's still that chance", said Bret McTigue, a rescue team member and also a Marin County fire battalion chief.

Mr Farrell then runs inside - and not a moment too soon.

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.


Bleckel had previously been listed as missing.

Authorities are hoped to find them alive. "You never know exactly what the human body is capable of".

What Caused the Montecito Mudslide?

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Hundreds of people who were trapped but not injured in the slides, such as those stranded in Romero Canyon, were taken to safety on Wednesday, she said.

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.

Duffy survived, was treated in the hospital and released with cuts, bruises and a shoulder fracture.

Josephine Gower, 69, died when she opened the door to her home, her son, Hayden Gower, told NBC station KSBY. The father and daughter had shared a love of taking canoe trips on the wilderness lakes and portages of Canada, David Montgomery said.

"But realistically we suspect that we are going to continue to have discovery of people who were killed in this incident".

"The last thing Peter yelled out to me was 'Lalo, grab onto some wood and don't let go.' And that was the last I heard of him", he recounted. "The walls just burst open, the mud came in and just shot us both out of the house".

When Clay and Kelly Weimer couldn't reach the Mitchells, they jumped in their auto Tuesday and headed south from the Bay Area.

He said he regretted not forcing his elderly parents to evacuate.

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