Emergency Managers Under Fire Following Deadly California Mudslides

The mudslides, which came in the early morning hours of Tuesday, killed at least 18 people and destroyed dozens of homes.

The 101, a key north-south route in California, was tentatively scheduled to reopen on Monday, but cleanup efforts have proved more hard than expected, Santa Barbara City Fire Chief Pat McElroy said on Saturday. They'd painted the phrase "Case de Contenta" on the side - "House of Contentment", in Alice Mitchell's words, according to Megan Alice Mitchell, the couple's granddaughter.

"My grandfather was really amusing", Mitchell said. "Is amusing", she corrected.

Authorities believe five people are still missing, aged between two and 30.

The authorities on Tuesday ordered evacuation and recommended that the residents move to high areas. You don't know the power of a mudslide.

Last month's spate of wildfires, including the largest in California history, burned away grass and shrubs that held soil in place, and baked a waxy layer into the earth that prevents water from sinking deeply into the ground.

Ms Benitez lived with her sister-in-law, Marilyn Ramos, 27, who was asleep with her daughter, Kaelly, 3, when mud crashed through their Montecito rental home, carrying both to their deaths.

"Safety officials just didn't see this happening", said Bastian.

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

David Cantin, 49, was the father of 14-year-old Lauren Cantin, whom rescuers pulled from her Montecito home earlier this week, the Associated Press reported. "I'm told there was about 5 feet (1.5m) of mud".

Bulldozers have been used to clear roads of tangled trees, muck and boulders as trucks hauled off floodwaters siphoned off US Highway 101, the crippled coastal route connecting Santa Barbara to Ventura. When the flooding receded, they made a decision to flee.

She said the 61-year-old took joy in pairing the ideal home with the flawless family and, in her personal time, loved cooking, going for long walks and spending movie nights with family. "Sunday night, Portia and I got a call that we're under mandatory evacuation again with most of the community of Montecito", she said during her show. I'm hoping it's okay.

NBC News couldn't immediately verify his account. Oprah Winfrey posted a video walking through mud at her Montecito estate. That's my neighbor's house. More information about the boil warning can be found here. "It's not like anybody came around and told them to leave".

Riskin is survived by her two children, Robert and Julia, and her husband, Ken Grand, the company said.

Alex Johnson reported from Los Angeles.

Riskin Partners spokeswoman Erin Lammers said Riskin was a member of the American Ballet Theater in NY before an injury cut short her dancing career.

  • Leroy Wright