Miércoles, 17 Enero, 2018

DeGeneres, Winfrey share emotions mudslides in neighbourhood

Montecito mudslide MAP Ellen De Genere ExpressMontecito mudslide MAP Where is Ellen DeGeneres’ house in Santa Barbara California
Eleena Tovar | 14 Enero, 2018, 18:30

The founder of a Roman Catholic school and four children were among the victims of a deadly series of Santa Barbara County, California, mudslides that killed 18 people along the coast, officials said.

"We're still in rescue mode and we still hope to find someone alive, although the chances of that are becoming slim", said Justin Cooper, a spokesperson for the multi-agency response team.

The Associated Press described a "torrent of mud, trees and boulders that flowed down a fire-scarred mountain and slammed" into Montecito in Santa Barbara County Jan. 9.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said: "We've got a window that's closing but we're still very optimistic we've got some time". About 65 single-family homes were destroyed and another 462 were damaged.

The number of missing has fluctuated as people were located, said the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office.

The air smelled of sewage and ash as more than a dozen firefighters climbed through rubble in the backyard of a mansion that had been ripped in half.

Debris flows pose a significant threat when rain falls in the aftermath of wildfires such as the inferno that scorched more than 440 square miles (1,140 square kilometres) in two Southern California counties last month and destroyed and damaged hundreds of homes and other structures. And it made me so proud to live there. As of Saturday afternoon, 19 people were killed in the mudslides, while at least five people remained missing.

In an Instagram video, Winfrey showed the mud that had engulfed her property and pointed to an unnamed neighbor's property - likely Bridges, according to TMZ - which she said was "devastated".

They coordinated widespread efforts on several fronts to rescue survivors, protect the population from downed electrical lines, put out raging gas fires from ruptured gas lines and clear debris from roads, and funnel evacuees into the Red Cross Evacuation Centre.

They brought each family member up to the roof, dogs too, and hoisted them up to safety.

Sally Brooks said a "boulder slide" occurred outside her home in nearby Carpinteria in the dead of night.

The freeway "will remain closed until we can deal with water flowing from sheared fire hydrants and until we can ascertain the integrity of that roadway", McElroy said. Some assumed the threat was overblown just weeks after the fire triggered similar calls to evacuate.

"I ran as fast I could and yelled, 'Flash flood!' as I passed neighbors' homes", he said. "We are teamed up with partner agencies responding to this tragedy and are working 24/7 to make progress toward reopening U.S. 101 while being cooperative with the search efforts underway".

DeGeneres also shared a link to her website with ways to help animal affected by the mudslides. That meant even those who had stayed behind would have to leave and those who entered the zone would be subject to arrest.

All the new orders, effective at 6 p.m. Thursday, are in areas that were previously under evacuation warnings, and many of those neighborhoods suffered major damage.