Rescue workers hoping for miracles after California mudslide

California mudslide rescuers 'hoping for a miracle' amid fears death toll could hit 57

If needed, they will again, he said.

A statement from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office said the 87-year-old Montecito man was found inside of his home.

They were soon pulled in different directions.

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.

A mandatory evacuation order has been extended, as Santa Barbara's County Sherriff said residents staying behind were hindering recovery efforts.

Roy Rohter, 84, founder of the Saint Augustine Academy in Ventura, was killed on Tuesday when a mudslide swept him from his Montecito home, according to officials at the private Catholic school.

"Realistically we suspect we are going to have the discovery of more people killed in this incident", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.

"The mud just." she said, her voice trailing off.

Maria Zate, spokeswoman for Cottage Health, said since the mudslides Tuesday, a total of 28 patients have been treated and released or admitted to Cottage hospitals from storm-related injuries.

Anxious family members awaited word on loved ones Wednesday as rescue crews searched grimy debris and ruins for more than a dozen people missing after mudslides in Southern California destroyed an estimated 100 houses, swept cars to the beach and left at least 17 victims dead.

The company confirmed her death in a Wednesday Facebook post.

Also missing is Delbert Weltzin, a 62-year-old transient who frequents the railroad tracks near Olive Mill Road, sheriff's officials said.

Montecito is home to many Hollywood stars, and they were feeling the pain.

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Almost 450 first responders and government officials and 14 rescue choppers flooded into the area to help bring order to the chaos. His brother Victor is Jonathan father and the husband of Fabiola Benitez.

"My sister was such a good person, she only thought of others to the point that she would cry with you when you were hurt or sick", said Jennifer Ramos, Marilyn Ramos' sister.

The 17 people killed in mudslides in Southern California this week included children ages 3, 6, 10 and 12.

Authorities announced Thursday that 73-year-old Peter Fleurat was among those who died in Montecito.

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.

In one of the worst-hit areas of Montecito, mud blew through doors and windows, filling the interiors of houses with sludge and debris.

The devastation affected an area estimated at 30 square miles, according to Cal Fire.

Montecito is best known as a getaway for the rich and famous - the median home price among current listings is more than 4 million dollars (£2.9m) - although there are also working families living in modest houses and apartments.

Last month's spate of wildfires, including the largest in California history, burned away grass and shrubs that held soil in place, and baked a waxy layer into the earth that prevents water from sinking deeply into the ground.

Last night, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office made a plea for information on any of the missing residents.

Some smaller number, which authorities wouldn't give, were actively being investigated as missing people who could be dead under the debris.

When Winfrey called into DeGeneres' show, she described a tragic scene from her back yard.

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