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A week after California mudslides, Trump sends condolences in press statement

Weather / Weather News /

WASHINGTON -- Nearly a week after horrific mudslides hit California's Central Coast and killed at least 20 people, President Donald Trump sent his condolences to those affected in his first public statement on the disaster.

The two-sentence statement was released by the White House press secretary on Monday.

"The President has been briefed and...Read more

Montecito victims mourned as toll rises to 20

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- Soon after the sun set over Santa Barbara, Ann Hagan grabbed a marker and wrote a short message to the 20 strangers who died in the devastating Montecito mudslides.

"In our hearts," she wrote before signing her name on a whiteboard put up at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

Hagan was one of thousands of people who ...Read more

Buried in mud, Montecito faces a daunting cleanup with no end in sight

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- The cobbled parking lots outside boutiques are empty. The Italian trattoria known as Oprah Winfrey's favorite haunt is shuttered, as is the Four Seasons resort owned by Ty Warner, the Beanie Babies tycoon.

A place famous for coastal affluence and extravagance is now unlivable and grappling with one basic and primitive ...Read more

When debris flowed, Montecito families had little chance to flee

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- The realization that houses might simply vanish didn't start to set in until a 30-foot tree trunk barreled by.

Trina Grokenberger stared out the upstairs window of her white Colonial house Tuesday morning, as a river raged through her front yard.

It was 3:58 a.m.

"Dave!" she called to her husband. "We can't leave now, ...Read more

Death toll in Montecito mudslide rises to 19, while 101 Freeway will remain closed indefinitely

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- As the death toll in the Montecito mudslides increased to 19 on Saturday, officials announced that the 101 Freeway would remain closed indefinitely.

Search and rescue crews recovered the body of Morgan Corey, 25, who was found in debris near Mill Road about 9 a.m. Saturday, officials said. She was among at least five people...Read more

Victims of Montecito mudslides include couples, retirees, children

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- Peter Fleurat and his partner, Lalo Barajas, wanted to ride out the storm together.

Their house on Hot Springs Road in Montecito was in a voluntary evacuation zone. The couple decided to stay home, keeping an eye on their sprawling property -- especially their beloved garden and koi pond.

Early Tuesday morning, the floor began ...Read more

Number of people missing in deadly Montecito slide reduced to 5, officials say

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- The number of people still missing in the wake of a deadly mudslide in Montecito now figures at five, officials said Friday morning.

Authorities said late Thursday that roughly 43 people were unaccounted for after heavy rains pounded the Thomas fire burn scar earlier this week and unleashed a torrent of mud, boulders and debris ...Read more

One-two punch of the Thomas fire and debris flows leaves trail of destruction

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- Santa Barbara County crews worked through the holidays to defend coastal communities from the second half of Southern California's familiar cycle of fire and flood.

They cleaned out the 11 debris basins that dot the Santa Barbara front country, making room for the dirt and ash and rocks that winter rains would inevitably send ...Read more

A deadly combination of factors raised mudslides' toll

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- Josie Gower woke up to the sound of rain hammering the roof of her Montecito home around 3 a.m. Tuesday. She walked downstairs, where her boyfriend had been keeping an eye on the storm, and together they opened to door to look outside.

A wall of mud and boulders as big as pickup trucks crashed toward Gower's house, sweeping the ...Read more

Rescue efforts continue in Montecito as community reels from deadly mudslide

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- Rescue crews continued to search for survivors amid the mud and wreckage of Montecito's massive debris field on Thursday, but acknowledged that the window to save lives is rapidly closing.

At least eight people remain unaccounted for following Tuesday's massive mud flow, which killed at least 17 people and obliterated ...Read more

Emergency cellphone alerts didn't go out until after mudslides began in Montecito

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- Santa Barbara County officials chose not to send an emergency alert to cellphones warning of mudslides until destructive flooding had already begun in Montecito, officials said Wednesday.

The message, similar to an Amber Alert for abducted children, was sent about 3:50 a.m. Tuesday to all registered cellphones in areas that were ...Read more

NC's famously frozen alligators are thawed out

Weather / Weather News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina's famous "alligators on ice" have thawed out of their frozen pond, now that temperatures are above freezing.

A video posted earlier this week of the alligators frozen in place – with only their snouts above the ice – got hundreds of thousands of views across the world, and raised questions about how the ...Read more

101 Freeway, buried under tons of mud and debris, remains closed

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- The 101 Freeway through Santa Barbara County is expected to be closed through at least Thursday night due to massive debris dumped on the freeway by the deadly Montecito mudslides.

The freeway is the prime route between Ventura and Santa Barbara, and the closure is stranding some motorists. Caltrans is advising drivers to ...Read more

Death toll from slides rises to 15 with daybreak air rescues set to begin in Montecito

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- The death toll from a massive debris flow that buried homes and cars under a torrent of mud and boulders has risen to 15 in Montecito, where local personnel and the U.S. Coast Guard are planning to continue rescue operations Wednesday morning.

About 300 people remained stuck in their homes in Montecito's Romero Canyon ...Read more

Families frantically search for loved ones missing in Montecito mudslide

Weather / Weather News /

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- As the death toll rose to 15 in the Montecito mudslide disaster, family members continue to frantically look for loved ones who might still be missing.

At the evacuation center at Santa Barbara City College, someone had put up a white posterboard, with "message board" scrawled in black.

Below, in blue, was scrawled "...Read more

Alligators use bizarre – and creepy – ancient ritual to survive NC's arctic blast

Weather / Weather News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A North Carolina swamp park has posted a video explaining how alligators survive in a frozen pond, and it's both creepy and bizarre.

The cold-blooded animals essentially allow themselves to be frozen in place, with their noses just above the surface, according to a video posted on Facebook by Shallotte River Swamp Park in ...Read more

Moments of terror in Thomas fire zone as powerful rains send the earth moving

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- Montecito resident Dominic Shiach thought the worst was over when the massive Thomas fire finally stopped threatening his town last month.

But Monday night and early Tuesday morning, the rains began to pound. Within hours, the community was inundated with mudslides, leaving at least five dead and some trapped among damaged ...Read more

At least 3 dead as heavy rains trigger flooding, mudflows and freeway closures across Southern California

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- Heavy rains triggered freeway closures throughout the Los Angeles region Tuesday and unleashed mud flows in areas ravaged by wildfires last month, shutting down more than 30 miles of the 101 Freeway and leaving at least three people dead as rescue personnel scrambled through clogged roadways and downed trees, officials said.

At ...Read more

Southern California braces for heavy rainstorm Monday, threatening burn areas with runoff

Weather / Weather News /

Southern California is bracing for the first significant rainstorm to hit the region in nearly a year, beginning Monday and with the heaviest rain expected in some burn areas, forecasters said.

Almost four inches of rain is expected in eastern Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County over 12 hours from Monday evening through Tuesday ...Read more

It's so cold, stiff iguanas are turning belly-up all over South Florida

Weather / Weather News /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- It's raining iguanas in South Florida.

With temperatures falling into the 30s in the region, the reptiles are getting stunned by the cold and falling from trees, often ending up on people's lawns.

Kay Pavkovich, of Plantation, dealt with a nearly 3-foot stiff iguana she saw outside her home Thursday morning.

She didn'...Read more