Officials said secondary searches of damaged structures were under way.
They happened when water that would have otherwise been absorbed or at least slowed by vegetation instead instantly ran down creeks and other drainage areas, picking up soil, rocks, trees - and potentially growing powerful enough to carry massive boulders and vehicles.
However, with most utilities about to be cut off and sewage running into the nearby creek, she made a decision to heed the order to leave.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office this week identified the 18 killed, citing the cause of death as multiple traumatic injuries resulting from flash floods with mudslides.
Montecito is home to many Hollywood stars, and they were feeling the pain.
"The partner of one of the people killed in the California mudslides says the victim had just enough time to shout, "'grab onto some wood and don't let go.'" before he was swept to his death. Her body was found Wednesday near U.S. Route 101.
"I thought I was dead for a minute", the dazed girl, covered in mud, told firefighters before she was taken away in an ambulance. "She was a dear friend". "You just don't even think that this is possible". Another, who lost her life at her home, was a ballerina turned real-estate agent known in some quarters of this enclave for the wealthy and famous as "The First Lady of Luxury Real Estate". James was 89, and Alice was 78.
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Patrick Casey, owner of the State & Fig restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara, said he's anxious but expressed confidence that his business, and the community, will snap back. Their home of more than 30 years was untouched by the torrents of mud and water.
The deadly mudslides that hit Montecito, California, were already occurring when Santa Barbara County officials first sent emergency alerts to cellphones in the area.
They also said trains and ferries are providing alternative transportation. He had been a clinical instructor in the department of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School, according to his office's website. Associated Press Writer Amanda Lee Myers contributed from Los Angeles and Rogers reported from Los Angeles.
The huge wildfire that led to this week's devastating debris flows in Montecito, California, is finally 100 percent contained.
John McManigal, 61, had six sons and owned a financing company in Santa Barbara, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a Facebook post by his brother. Video shot from the hovering chopper showed a house surrounded by muck and debris as a mother, muddy from the waist down, handed her infant to two rescuers on the roof and then got help onto it.
Bleckel was among those on the "missing" list that shrank from 43 on Thursday evening to seven just 24 hours later, although there was some confusion over the number because two of the missing had the same name.
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