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Devastation in California

McKenzie See-Holbrooke, Staff Writer

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After the start of the 2018 forest fires and then the occurrence of the mudslides shortly afterwards in many parts of California, the death toll increased to 20, and 4 people of different ages remain missing in the affected areas.

Evacuation zones have increased in size since last Thursday for at least one week but researchers say that people who occupy these areas should plan for up to two weeks away from their homes. Homes that were once worth up to 3 million dollars are now completely unrecognizable because of the severe damage caused by forest fires and loads of mud sliding and engulfing homes, schools, and places of business. Most effort is going into repairing highway 101 which is the connector from Los Angeles to other cities among the coast of California.

“It came down so fast that it took people out. My neighbors home was completely destroyed all that remained was the chimney and parts of the foundation,” stated a resident of Montecito California.

“I actually believed the world was coming to an end. I could only think about losing everyone I loved,” another victim had stated after being interviewed by a news reporter after the mudslides had ceased

On Sunday January 14th, hundreds of residents in Southern California gathered in Santa Barbara for a vigil to remember the lives of the 20 people who passed and the 4 who still remain unfound in the Montecito Mudslides. People came with flowers, cards, and candles and stood as one outside the Santa Barbara Courthouse as a moment of reflection for the lives lost over the past weeks.

But how did these mudslides begin? Back in late December heavy rains began after the forest fires had ceased in the state of California. As the showers began, a cascading flow of mud careened down hills which engulfed everything in it path including homes, wildlife, and vegetation. As this occured many residents were told to evacuate their homes for their own protection and safety otherwise they could have lost their lives or the lives of their loved ones.

As the weeks go by researchers and workers who are involved with the clean up caused by the horrific mudslides are stating that “Once we can get the water to recede we feel very confident that we will be able to bring in available equipment on standby, get down to the bottom and move heavy materials out of the way,” stated Jim Shivers. This could be the end of the mudslides in California.

 

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