'Apocalyptic' Scene as Hundreds Trapped in California Mudslides

It is believed that seven people aged between two and 30 are still missing and more than 1,200 rescuers have been drafted in to search the mud in Montecito, which is up to 15ft deep in some areas.

The Mitchells' family learned Wednesday that they were dead, Megan Mitchell told NBC News.

The flash-floods struck in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Friday morning, the couple walked down to a security checkpoint near their home to get an update from the California Highway Patrol officer stationed there. They'd moved back home only about a week ago, Megan Mitchell said.

"This is all I have, everything is gone", Lalo Barajas told CBS News' Carter Evans.

There are active mandatory and voluntary evacuation areas outside the destruction in Montecito, including the Goleta Valley and Carpinteria Valley, and there have been no changes to those orders, though Brown said they will be reassessed Friday.

As the mudslide cleanup continues in Montecito on January 11, 2018, California Task Force 8 of San Diego searches a property for victims on East Valley Road.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Joseph Bleckel had been on the missing list but still the number of people unaccounted is five.

"There have been many miraculous stories of people lasting many days (following similar disasters) and certainly we are searching for a miracle right now", Brown said. Hayden Gower asked, tearfully. Winfrey also revealed that while she didn't need to evacuate from her home, she was told that she wouldn't have running water or gas. "I don't know how I got lulled". "I'm going to do everything I can".

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After a better look at the damage, officials lowered the number of destroyed homes from 100 to 64 and raised the number of damaged ones from 300 to 446.

Numerous deaths and injuries occurred at locations that were not under mandatory evacuation for flooding, but weeks earlier, said areas were evacuated during a series of fires. The school's headmaster, Michael Van Hecke, a friend of Rohter for more than 25 years, said: "Roy's life has been in service to his good, loving and ever-forgiving God".

The backbreaking work went on under the sunny skies that have made the stretch of Santa Barbara County coast about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles a haven for the wealthy, celebrities and tourists drawn to its scenery and casual vibe.

Walls of mud and debris cascaded down hillsides stripped of trees and shrubs by last month's wildfires, including the Thomas Fire, the largest blaze in the state's history. Two vehicles that were in his driveway were swept away, while car-sized boulders and building debris flowed into the street.

'The missing persons were reported by family and friends, and resided in areas that were heavily damaged during the storm and subsequent mudslides, ' the sheriff's office said.

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

We may think we know more than the experts, but the odds are - overwhelmingly - we don't.

But there were also glimmers of optimism amid the fury of the flood.

"I am blessed and I am going to do whatever I can for the rest of the community", she said, "and we all just love the firefighters".

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