Seven still missing after deadly mudslides in Montecito, California

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Firefighters search for people trapped in mudslide debris on January 10, 2018 in Montecito, California.

The department said the sediment would only consist of wet or dry dirt or mud without rocks, debris or vegetation, and inspectors would refuse any truckload containing unpermitted materials. Occasional rocks would be set aside by hand for disposal.

Santa Barbara County said emergency permits don’t require testing of the material for hazards but that public health authorities were testing the ocean waters. Down the coast in Ventura County, environmental health officials warned that storm runoff can carry disease-causing bacteria and warned the public to avoid contact with ocean water until sampling results can be reviewed next week.

In the disaster impact zone, searchers used chain saws and rakes to remove logs and sift through the remnants of what was left of multimillion-dollar homes. Crews with backhoes and jackhammers pulverized enormous boulders that were left when the torrents stopped.

Orange markings left on doors indicated which homes had already been searched.

In one of the hardest hit areas, a silver Mercedes-Benz, its front and rear fenders completely destroyed, sat atop a tree stump, the only thing left where a home once sat.

Rescuers said they would search every piece of debris and pile of dirt to look for the missing. Henzgen, the Los Angeles Fire Department captain, pointed to a nearly empty lot.

“This house is across the street now so we have to search these piles where people could’ve potentially floated into,” he said.



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