One of the region's most famous resorts, the San Ysidro Ranch, sustained extensive damage in the mudslides, McElroy said Saturday.
The mudslides roared through the coastal city early Tuesday as heavy rain fell on a huge area of hills and mountains burned by a December wildfire.
Search-and-rescue operations are the priority for crews working in the closed area from Milpas Street to Highway 150, and that affects progress toward reopening the highway, a Caltrans spokeswoman said. The fire is the state's largest wildfire on record.
Evacuation orders were issued for areas below the Thomas, Whittier, Sherpa and Rey Fire Burn Areas beginning at noon on Monday, January 8, but only about 15 percent of residents are known to have evacuated. Authorities said her 49-year-old father, David, died and her 16-year-old brother, Jack, is missing.
Major roads were swamped, trapping many in their homes.
Evacuee Hannah Troy has spent three days at the Red Cross shelter in nearby Santa Barbara.
The family rode out the storm unharmed on kitchen counters as the debris smashed through the walls and water swirled around them.
He runs inside, closes the door and instructs his mom to wake his dad up and get ready to go.
"Thomas Tighe said he stepped outside his Montecito home in the middle of the night and heard 'a deep rumbling, an ominous sound I knew was. boulders moving as the mud was rising'". "I should have just told her to leave".
For others, the grim reality was just beginning as workmen dug through the debris. "It just exhausts the crews out there", Sacramento Fire Department Captain Pat Costamagna said. "You have to start accepting the reality of that".
Kailly Benitez, 3, was Ramos' daughter, the Post reported. None of the adult dead shared their last names. As of Friday, the death toll was at 18.
The majority of fatalities reported so far occurred in Montecito, the wealthiest district in Santa Barbara.
"We were able to find people", Anderson said, but added that the number could continue to fluctuate greatly.
A vehicle sits in mud and debris after a mudslide on in Montecito, California. After a better damage assessment earlier in the week, a total of 64 homes were destroyed, while 300 to 462 were damaged.
The searches themselves are slow, largely because the mud is so hard to walk through and hides myriad dangers. He yelled to warn others and shot video on his phone.
A few streets away, Abbe and Gary Shaw counted their blessings.
Authorities would not specify how many people were in each category. Like many, the couple described hearing explosions during the slide as gas lines ruptured and exploded.
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.
The public is asked to report any information they may have on the whereabouts of the above missing persons.
"He fixed my hand after a camping accident in 2012, two weeks before my wedding", David Iglesias the KSBY television station. "What would we have done with the animals?" So again, we evacuated because they feared mudslides.
"She was in the house and was swept away", said Renee Grub, a friend of Ms Riskin.
Luckily, Farrell and his parents got out of the flood alive.
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