This photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department shows firefighters making secondary searches on homes damaged and destroyed by deadly rain and mudflow in Montecito, Calif., Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. Dozens of homes were swept away or heavily damaged and several people were killed Tuesday, Jan. 9, as downpours sent mud and boulders roaring down hills stripped of vegetation by a the gigantic Thomas wildfire that raged in Southern California last month. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

The Latest: Difficult search goes on in California mudslides

January 13, 2018 - 2:26 pm

MONTECITO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on deadly California mudslides (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

The difficult search goes on in Montecito, California, five days after storm-spawned mudslides roared down from fire-stripped hillsides and smashed through dozens of homes, killing at least 18 people and leaving others missing.

The army of search-and-rescue crews and recovery workers swelled to more than 2,100 on Saturday in the coastal enclave about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.

The number of missing has fluctuated but stands at seven.

Crews are using backhoes, jackhammers and shovels to look for victims and clear roads.

Weather is good, but forecasters say there's a slight chance of light rain by next Friday.

New inspections are underway. Officials say there could be changes in the assessments that report 65 single-family homes and eight businesses destroyed and 462 homes and 20 businesses damaged.

Much of the community remains under mandatory evacuation orders.


10:35 p.m.

Frustrations and dark discoveries mounted for a California town ravaged by a deadly and destructive mudslide.

Most of the people of Montecito are now under orders to stay out of town for two weeks.

And search-and-rescue workers found the 18th person killed in the disaster, an 87-year-old man discovered Friday in his home.

Other crews toiled to clean up the massive wreckage of the slide and to repair power, water and gas lines.

The order to stay away was another difficult turn for those living in the Southern California town that has been subject to repeated evacuation orders in recent weeks, first because of a monster wildfire last month, then because of downpours and mudslides.

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