Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Cheshire woman to help California mudslide victims

Cheshire woman to help California mudslide victims

Fourteen helicopters and four water rescue teams were aiding the effort.

"When the storm finally hit, the National Weather Service put out a WEA alert, which is similar to an Amber Alert, saying that flash flooding was imminent", said Robert Lewin, director of Santa Barbara County's Office of Emergency Management.

Torrential rain triggered a series of catastrophic mudslides in the Montecito area of Santa Barbara on Tuesday morning, reducing buildings to rubble and killing at least 18 people.

On Thursday the attorney from nearby Ojai turned his efforts to helping at a relief center, leaving it to authorities to continue the search.

NeoTract, a maker of devices used in the medical field of urology, launched the page Wednesday, asking for financial support for the family of Cantin's mother, Kim, a marketing executive in the health-care field.

A massive winter storm drenched parts of Southern California this week, leading to deadly mudslides. Her son told her to stay upstairs, but he told KSBY-6 she went to the ground level and was taken by the knee-deep current of mud.

Jennifer Ramos says Marilyn Ramos shared the home with her husband, Antonio Benitez, and the family of his brother, Victor Benitez.

Another victim, Josie Gower, had tried to escape the mudslides with a friend, according to Doug Scott, Gower's longtime friend, told ABC News.

Riskin Partners described its founder as a renowned businesswoman whose "knowledge, strength and work ethic were eclipsed only by her unending grace, warmth and kindness".

The statement says Riskin was an "exceptional woman" who had exuded strength, grace and elegance.

Caltrans officials said until Highway 101 is fully reopened, southbound motorists can detour around the closed area by taking Highway 166 east to Interstate 5, then going south to Highway 126 and back west to Highway 101.

The number of confirmed fatalities remains at 17.

A Marin rescue team working in Santa Barbara County is holding out hope that those buried by mud and debris will be pulled out alive, although the time left to save lives is dwindling. Heavy rains caused rivers of mud and debris to run down from hillsides, creating the mudslides in Santa Barbara County.

For days beforehand, the county had issued repeated warnings through social media, news media and community information emails about the potential for mudflows from the huge wildfire scar in the hills above neighborhoods.

The mudslide areas are under mandatory evacuation orders for at least a week, but the sheriff has cautioned residents to plan to be away for a full two weeks.

Routes in and out of Santa Barbara have been shut down from the south, and various roadways have been swallowed by the floods.

They slogged through ooze and poked long holes into the mud on Wednesday as they searched for victims a day after the massive debris flow passed through. Another 17 were still reported missing. He added, however, that "the likelihood is increasing that we'll be finding bodies, not survivors".

James and Alice Mitchell, who moved to the Montecito area in 1999, were found dead on a different street from their destroyed home, KSBY reported on Thursday, citing the couple's daughter, Kelly Weimer.

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