Two days after a series of Southern California mudslides killed at least 17 in Montecito, officials issued new mandatory evacuations for parts of the city so crews could focus on rescue and cleanup efforts.
"I told her to stay on the second floor, but she went downstairs and opened the door and just got swept away", Hayden Gower said. "The mud is acting like a candy shell on ice cream". "We've got all those chickens, which means we've got eggs, and they're flawless". The muddy debris also lead to roads closing.
All of the dead were killed by "multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides", authorities said.
"They are good people", he said with tears in his eyes.
Helicopters and rescue workers from the U.S. Coast Guard and National Guard, as well as firefighters and helicopters from fire departments in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, have all descended on Montecito since Tuesday, Eliason said. You could be stepping on a body and not even know it.
Officials in Santa Barbara County announced 65 single-family homes were destroyed and almost 450 sustained damage.
Among those impacted by the disaster was chat show host Ellen DeGeneres, who said everyone in the 9,000 strong "tight-knit" community had been affected.
As their names and those of 14 other victims were released Thursday, crews kept digging through the muck and rubble looking for more people.
Winfrey posted videos on Instagram showing her wading through almost knee-deep mud on her property and later inspecting the damage. "Her incredible strength always shined through and her loyalty and support were irreplaceable".
Alice Mitchell, 78. Retired schoolteacher. "They took it right to the hospital".
Another couple, Steve and Rita Fisk, had been taking the scenic coastal route home to OR when they became marooned in Carpinteria. "That's their forever home", Weimer said. Together with the loss of vegetation, this leads to an increased risk of mudslides and floods.
"We totally thought we were out of the woods", said Jennifer Markham, whose home escaped damage in both disasters. "I was frozen yesterday morning thinking, 'This is a million times worse than that fire ever was'".
Only an estimated 10 to 15 percent of residents fled when ordered and much of the damage occurred where evacuations were voluntary. Marco Farrell, 45, said he was two blocks away when he saw the slide descending on Olive Mill Road. He woke to the sound of pounding rain early Tuesday and went outside to investigate. So again, we evacuated because they feared mudslides.
"Where I am now, which is the east side of my property, I was walking down here and all of my neighbors' homes are gutted".
"The mud just..." she said, her voice trailing off.
Farrell planned to float his elderly parents to a hillside on a surfboard, but it was unnecessary. They are instant, they are a six-foot wall of mud moving 40 miles an hour, it moves whatever it wants. Others were lifted and tossed from their foundation. At least two unrecognizably mangled cars were carried like driftwood all the way to the beach, where they were partly covered in seaweed.
Barajas, owner of a Santa Barbara restaurant, survived with cuts and bruises and a sprained neck.
The number of fatalities surpassed the death toll from a California mudslide on January 10, 2005, when 10 people were killed as a hillside gave way in the town of La Conchita, less than 20 miles (30 km) south of the latest disaster.