Death toll from California mudslides up to 18

Speaking on Thursday, he said: "Realistically we suspect we are going to have the discovery of more people killed in this incident".

But as rescue and fix crews continue their work, they said "the full extent of the damage is still unknown". "Until that window is closed completely, we're doing every search like it's the first time the area's been searched". 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".

"I flew over the area this morning, and there's about three-quarters to a mile of water", said Capt. Cindy Pontes, of the California Highway Patrol. "You just don't even think that this is possible". They pump it out and it comes back in, pump it out and it comes back in.

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. "They have enough resources". "We were really sure they were just rescued".

CORRECTION (Jan. 11, 2018, 12:11 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misspelled the last name of Jim and Alice Mitchell's son-in-law.

"The mud just." she said, her voice trailing off. Northbound motorists can follow the same route in reverse.

They have not heard from the couple since Tuesday.

The number of dead could climb as crews continue to search through about 30 square miles of mud and debris in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. That included clearing roads, drainage channels and debris basins that are meant to catch mudflows.

Santa Barbara fire Captain Gary Pitney said the likelihood is increasing that rescue crews will be finding bodies instead of survivors at this point.

They were soon pulled in different directions.

Caltrans spokesman Colin Jones said debris in the water presents a challenge to the cleanup process. With nowhere to go, they crawled out of a window to reach the roof, he said. "We have to get this debris cleared, and we have to hurry".

"We are heartbroken over the loss of lives in our community", Bridges tweeted.

The number of searchers and recovery workers in Montecito surged to more than 2,000 in the days after significant rain led to mudslides that ravaged an area previously scorched by the Thomas Fire, which officials said was fully contained on Friday.

Search and rescue officials located 87-year-old Joseph Francis Bleckel dead inside his residence on Friday.

Mr Brown also named the five people still missing, which included Fabiola Benitez, the mother of Jonathan Benitez, a 10-year-old killed in the flooding. While this list often fluctuates as new information is obtained, here is a current list of people reported missing that are considered active investigations. Another man named John Keating who was injured in the mudslides is being treated at a hospital out of the area.

The deployed team is made up of firefighters from Southern Marin, Mill Valley, Novato, Kentfield and Windsor, as well as staff from the county public works department. The cause of death for 17 of the individuals was listed as "Multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides due to recent wildfire".



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