Eight people still missing after California mudslides
by Leigh Jones
Posted 1/11/18, 12:36 pm
Search and rescue crews in Montecito, Calif., continue to slog through mud and debris hoping to find survivors from Tuesday’s storm. Eight people remain missing, and 17 are confirmed dead, according to Santa Barbara County officials. Despite warnings ahead of the storm, few residents of the tony community north of Los Angeles evacuated. Officials on Thursday dismissed criticism of their decision not to activate cellphone alerts until after the storm had already started. Officials sent 200,000 emails and other warnings in the days leading up to the storm but opted to skip the cellphone alert out of fear it would be ignored, county emergency manager Jeff Gater told the Los Angeles Times. Heavy rain pelted the hillsides denuded by December’s wildfires, prompting forecasters and emergency officials to warn of increased risk for flash flooding and mudslides. The cascading mud hit with such force it swept homes completely off their foundations.
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on education for WORLD Magazine and WORLD Digital.