Several news accounts said that a mudslide swept Roy Rohter, who founded St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, and his wife, Theresa, from their home in Montecito early January 9. It was so incredibly harrowing", said Brian O'Dea, author of "High: "Confessions of an International Drug Smuggler".
The wooded hillsides that once gave the residential estates a sense of seclusion were largely denuded by last year's historic wildfires, setting the stage for the massive slides that slammed into homes, turned highways into raging rivers and shredded cars into almost unrecognisable tangles of metal after heavy rains.
Downed power lines wrapped around trees at one property, while elsewhere the lines dropped nearly to the ground. "So again, we evacuated because they feared mudslides", the host said. The mud never got above their thighs and after about an hour of huddling in a hallway, he led his folks and dog outside where a passing firetruck took them to safety.
Oprah Winfrey, who just days ago won the praise of Hollywood with a Golden Globe lifetime achievement award, is now being directly affected by the damage. "It just exhausts the crews out there", Sacramento Fire Department Captain Pat Costamagna said in a social media video from the Governor's emergency management office. He said he went to investigate what turned out to be an explosion at a natural gas line, and came face to face with the mudslide.
"By the time I got to my house 30 seconds later there was a river of mud all over everything. Today, I need you because there's a lot going on in my life right now". "It was like somebody had brought a chainsaw and started chopping down trees".
In one of the worst-hit areas of Montecito, mud blew through doors and windows, filling the interiors of houses with muck and debris. "Just gone. So it is as devastating as it can be".
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Couric is gearing up for the debut in a few months' time of a six-part issues-driven documentary series for National Geographic. Lauer since apologized for his actions. "It's still very upsetting", Couric said.
When Winfrey called into DeGeneres' show, she described a tragic scene from her back yard.
Resident Thomas Tige and his family were forced to the roof of their home after opting not to heed a voluntary evacuation advisory issued for their neighborhood, the AP reported. The potential for mudslides in the area was known to be great because so much of the landscape had been razed by wildfires last month. With no vegetation left to absorb the rain, the slides came quickly amid a torrential downpour.
As search and rescue efforts continue, county, city, state, and federal agencies are conducting restoration efforts which involve cleaning out debris and clearing roads. "Crews are working day and night to clear the road ways".
Santa Barbara County authorities said Thursday afternoon up to 43 people are missing as a result of the mudslides this week in the Montecito area.
Officials rose the number of missing from 16 to 48 Thursday morning, then said a "clerical error" caused the spike; they corrected the number, saying only eight people were missing.