Search Continues For Hundreds After Mudslides In Southern California

Mud fills the interior of a car destroyed in a rain-driven mudslide in a neighborhood under mandatory evacuation in Burbank

Even wrecked cars have been swept onto beaches.

"It goes without saying how incredibly devastating this time is for their loved ones", Brown said.

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

"At this moment, we are still looking for live victims", Santa Barbara Fire Capt. Gary Pitney said.

"There have been many miraculous stories of people lasting many days (following similar disasters) and certainly we are searching for a miracle right now", Sheriff Brown said. But it also encompasses those who have been named in calls to the operations center and family assistance center. Residents will not be allowed to return to their homes while the evacuation order is lifted, which may not happen for one or two weeks, officials said.

Authorities have released the names of 17 people killed by mudslides in California.

The search for additional possible victims is continuing.

Lauren Cantin became the face of survival when rescuers pulled the mud-covered 14-year-old girl from her flattened home earlier this week.

U.S. Highway 101 at the Olive Mill Road overpass is flooded with runoff water from Montecito Creek in Montecito. Kelly Weimer, whose parents were killed when their Montecito home was swept away by flash floods, said they "were in a voluntary evacuation area so they figured they were OK".

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"They're an adorable couple, and they were in love with their house", their daughter, Kelly Weimer, said Wednesday before learning they had died. The founder of Riskin Partners, she moved to Montecito in 1990, according to a biography on her company's website.

The statement says Riskin was an "exceptional woman" who had exuded strength, grace and elegance. "This is a constantly changing list", he said.The sheriff told reporters all of the victims were from Montecito.

Four were children. Several more people are still missing and authorities say the death toll could rise. But within an hour, they said they had made a clerical error and the actual number of missing was eight.

The number of confirmed fatalities remains at 17.

We have continuing coverage on the deadly mudslides in California.

Jeff Gater, the county's emergency manager, said that more than 200,000 text messages, emails and other warnings were sent out to people who subscribed to such messages but that officials decided not to use the cellphone push alert system out of concern it might not be taken seriously.

Santa Barbara County initially ordered 7,000 residents to evacuate and urged 23,000 to do so voluntarily, but only 10 to 15 percent complied, Anderson said. Mudslides and flows of debris brought by the region's first winter storm have stranded hundreds of people in Santa Barbara County.

Residents lucky enough to be spared reported hearing rumblings just before the onslaught that sounded like an natural disaster but were actually the sound of a deadly, roaring curtain of mud and debris descending upon them powerful enough to propel massive boulders the size of trucks along with it.

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