Cheshire woman to help California mudslide victims

California mudslides

He said those who perished range in age from three to 89 years old.

The seven missing people included Fabiola Benitez, the mother of Jonathan Benitez, a 10-year-old killed in the flooding.

As their names and those of 14 other victims were released Thursday, crews kept digging through the muck and rubble looking for more people. "You never really know".

"Everywhere I turned, there was chaos", Montecito resident Shawn Monroe told the Washington Post. There are people who are missing family members.

Also among the dead was 84-year-old Roy Rohter, who founded the Saint Augustine Academy.

Since the mudslide caused the partial closure of one of California's most celebrated coastal roads, Highway 101, Nash, like many county residents, has been taking the train from the beach town into Santa Barbara proper for work every day.

The number of missing after a California mudslide has fluctuated wildly, due to shifting definitions, the inherent uncertainty that follows a natural disaster, and just plain human error.

"A number of houses were gutted, with rescuers pulling out people trapped under mountains of debris", KCLU's Lance Orozco wrote on Tuesday night.

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About 1,250 emergency workers raced against the clock to find survivors with drones, heavy equipment and sniffer dogs in the rescue and clean-up efforts, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services said.

Among the searchers were more than a dozen firefighters who climbed through rubble in the backyard of a mansion that had been torn apart. Two black Labrador retrievers swam around a debris-filled swimming pool, trying to pick up any scent.

With no vegetation to hold back the land, Tuesday's heavy rainfall triggered mudslides and debris flows that rushed into neighborhoods and overtook houses.

"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 region's natural beauty and easy access to Los Angeles to the southeast have long attracted the rich and powerful, including television personality Oprah Winfrey, former tennis star Jimmy Connors, talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and actor Jeff Bridges. 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.

"There is still a large area to be searched", he said.

Seventeen people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed after mudslides tore through Montecito, California, early Tuesday morning.

As search and rescue crews continue to dig through the remnants of the mudslides that pummeled parts of Southern California, law enforcement raised the death toll to 19 on Saturday.

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