World's best Search & Rescue teams in Montecito

Phillip Harnsberger crosses through mud from a flooded creek on Sheffield Drive in Montecito Calif

Among dramatic historic examples in the mountains of Southern California, a 1934 storm unleashed runoff so intense that 30 people were killed, more than 480 homes were destroyed and a almost 60-ton (54-metric ton) boulder was pushed out of a canyon.

"There's been plenty of cases where they've found people a week after".

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

During the wildfires last month, Farell looked over the house while his parents evacuated. "Pretty wonderful", Cordero said, holding back tears.

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

Asked by reporters if the operation had shifted from a rescue to a recovery more than 48 hours after the mud came down, the sheriff said his crews had not given up hope.

On Friday, the estimated number of missing people was down to five, after an estimate of 43 on Thursday.

But the sheriff's office had to walk back that conclusion a few hours later when they learned it was a different John Keating found at the hospital, and the one they were seeking was still missing.

"This is going to be a long and hard journey for all of us", Brown said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

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"Neighborhoods were just completely wiped out", she said, "Mud took everything with it". "I don't know what to do". "I got back over the holidays and I just drove around. I'm going to do everything I can".

When the rivers of water and mud had stopped, dozens of homes were destroyed and hundreds of others damaged.

"Roy's life has been in service to his good, loving and ever-forgiving God", said Michael Van Hecke, St. Augustine's headmaster.

Highway 101, California's main north-south coastal route, was buried under mud and debris, and about 30 miles of the southbound lane will be closed at least through midday Monday, said Capt. Cindy Pontes, Santa Barbara County commander for the California Highway Patrol.

When the flooding began early Tuesday, Alice and James Mitchell were still at their home in Montecito, California, just a mile from the beach. Car-sized boulders littered streets. Residents of some communities were ordered out in advance as authorities feared the hillsides, left bare of vegetation by the fire, would be swept down onto homes below. At least 7 people, including a 2-year-old, remain missing.

"(In) four minutes the water was through our wall and in our house, nearly to the second story", he said.

"Most injuries we saw were related to fast-moving debris", Wilson said.

But there were also glimmers of optimism amid the fury of the flood. DeGeneres broadcast the FaceTime call on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" where she described the experiences of the "tight-knit" community where 17 people have died and as of late Thursday eight people were still unaccounted for. Jaws of life and other tools were used to carefully extricate her.

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. "Praying for the survivors and preparing for whatever may come".

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