Emergency Managers Under Fire Following Deadly California Mudslides

Officials in Santa Barbara County announced 65 single-family homes were destroyed and almost 450 sustained damage.

Some of the damaged homes had "boulders or cars or other debris punch through them", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said in an interview Friday.

They were soon pulled in different directions.

Roy Rohter, 84-year-old founder of the St. Augustine Academy Roman Catholic school in Ventura, died when the slide swept him from his home in Montecito, according to school officials and local news media.

Earlier in the day, officials placed the number of missing at eight.

"Sunday night, Portia and I got a call that were under mandatory evacuation again with most of the community of Montecito", she said during her show.

But during a later news conference, Brown also announced the recovery of resident John Keating, 53, who only moments before was still categorized as missing.

Six people remain on the missing list. The missing are aged between 2 and 30.

Marilyn Ramos was asleep in bed with her three-year-old daughter, Kaelly Benitez, when the deadly mudslide came crashing through their rental home, killing them both.

Another person confirmed dead Thursday was 73-year-old Peter Fleurat of Montecito, his niece told the outlet.

The Benitez brothers are gardeners. The host was evacuated from her home in Santa Barbara County. Survived by her husband, two grown children and a grandson.

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"Billy and I went down to the house and the whole time we were talking about let's just keep the parents calm to make sure they're aware that we're going to keep them safe", said Coast Guard Petty Officer Aaron Custer.

The U.S. Forest Service made the announcement Friday after aerial surveys of the 440-square-mile (1, 140-square-kilometre ) scar left by the so-called Thomas fire.

"We were expecting rain this week and usually we're grateful for rain, especially in California, but not after the largest fire in the history of California", she said. Two vehicles that were in his driveway were swept away, while car-sized boulders and building debris flowed into the street.

Heavy rains triggered the mudslides in an area ravaged a month before by wildfires.

There are now five active missing persons cases, Brown said, though that number has continued to fluctuate throughout the week.

She says some missing-person reports are rapidly cleared while others take a long time to resolve. The number of people killed remains at 17.

Hundreds of rescue workers had been on the scene even by the following Wednesday.

Santa Barbara County Fire Search Dog Reilly looks for victims in damaged and destroyed homes in Montecito.

"Auto and pedestrian traffic in the exclusionary zone has reached a point that it is seriously impacting the ability of search and rescue, public works, other first responders and fix crews to clear roadways and to engage in search and rescue, fix and damage-assessment operations", he said.

The mudslide swept through the coastal community of Montecito on Tuesday morning, catching numerous victims entirely off-guard.

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