The death toll from Southern California’s devastating mudslides has reached 20 after another body was discovered.
On Tuesday 9/1/18 a rainstorm sent mud and debris coursing through Montecito neighbourhoods and left rescue crews to scramble through clogged roadways and downed trees to search for victims.
The mudslide struck a section of the city that is south of the Thomas fire’s burn area and was not subject to a mandatory evacuation. The scorched soil and burnt areas are less capable of absorbing water, making them even more susceptible to flooding and mudslides.
Four people remain missing after flash floods in coastal Montecito, said Santa Barbara County spokesman Justin Cooper, according to the Associated Press.
Search-and-rescue missions are continuing, although large amounts of mud and debris have made searches difficult. Several areas in Santa Barbara County remain under mandatory evacuation orders, with most of Montecito still shut off from natural gas service.
The mudslides destroyed 65 homes and damaged 462 others, fire officials said. Many commercial properties were damaged, as well. Twenty-eight people were injured.