"I fundamentally ran for my life": Man escapes lethal California mudslide

MONTECITO, Calif. — Search-and-rescue dogs are heading the efforts to find the blank in the wake of lethal mudslides that swallowed neighborhoods in Southern California. The hurdles are ascent for first responders.

More than 36 hours after the floods began, crews were poking by sand with sticks looking for anyone who competence be trapped.

  • Montecito family discovered from rooftop after mudslide

“You kind of do what you do when there’s an avalanche,” Battalion Chief Neil Berryman of the San Luis Obispo Fire Department told CBS News. “You poke and if you feel something opposite you try to figure out what it is.”

More than 100 people have been rescued, many from rooftops by helicopter.



Already destroyed by the large Thomas Fire in December, hillsides in Montecito collapsed in reduction than 15 minutes. Marco Ferrell had just left outward his parents’ home when he saw the sand and waste coming. He yelled to advise others and shot video on his phone.

“I fundamentally ran for my life, we ran as quick as we could, done it back to my residence in about 30 seconds of the front of the peep flood hitting,” Ferrell to CBS News.


Marco Ferrell

Seconds after a stone crashed by his kitchen door.

“We had waist low sand distracted by my house, every in. of my house,” he said.

Major roads were swamped, trapping many in their homes. Oprah Winfrey posted a video walking by sand at her Montecito estate.

Voluntary depletion orders were issued, but only 15 percent of the residents left. Many who got held in the mudslides had just evacuated in Dec during the wildfires.

Ferrell was not astounded about how many people died.

“This city has depletion fatigue. A lot of people were complacent,” he said.


Search dog looks for victims following lethal mudslide in California.

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