MONTECITO, Calif. (AP) - Officials say search and rescue operations have ended in Montecito, California, where mudslides killed at least 20 people.
(Image Source: Caltrans District 7 / Twitter / MGN)
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown says authorities transitioned Sunday morning to a search and recovery phase.
Brown says the move allows authorities to release resources that are no longer needed and allow search operations to slow to a safer pace.
The number of fatalities in Tuesday's flash flood is now 20. Four people remain missing.
Amtrak is adding rail cars to each of its five daily roundtrip trains between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to accommodate commuters grappling with the ongoing closure of U.S. 101 because of the deadly Montecito mudslides.
City News Service reported Sunday that up to 270 additional seats will be added to each train. Amtrak has seen standing-room crowds since it became the only ground transportation between Santa Barbara and points east after tracks were repaired last Thursday.
Transportation officials say the freeway will remain closed indefinitely as crews struggle to remove mud, boulders and crushed cars that filled lanes during Tuesday's deluge.
Officials say a 30-year-old father who had been missing after mudslides cascaded through Montecito earlier this week has been identified as one of the dead.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office says Pinit Sutthithepa's body was found Saturday afternoon. His 2-year-old daughter, Lydia, is still missing.
Sutthithepa's 6-year-old son, Peerawat, and his father-in-law, 79-year-old Richard Loring Taylor, were also among the 20 people killed.
Authorities say four people, including Sutthithepa's daughter, have been reported missing.
Friends have said Sutthithepa immigrated from Thailand, leaving behind his wife and two children but sending them money for years until he could bring them to the United States,
Parishioners prayed for those killed and for families still searching for missing relatives in a Southern California community ravaged by deadly mudslides.
Because most churches in coastal Montecito remain in an evacuation area, many worshippers attended Sunday services in nearby towns. At a church in Santa Barbara, they lit candles and prayed for families who lost loved ones. They said the victims were their friends and neighbors.
In the disaster area, firefighters are going door to door to check the structural stability of homes damaged in the storm.
Authorities found another victim Sunday, raising the death toll to 20. Four people remain missing.
Recovery crews continue to work around the clock with backhoes and jackhammers to dig away at the masses of mud, boulders and toppled trees.
Authorities say another body has been found at the scene of Southern California's devastating mudslides, increasing the death toll to 20.
Santa Barbara County spokesman Justin Cooper said Sunday that four people still remain missing amid the destruction in coastal Montecito.
Cooper did not give any additional information, only saying the coroner's office will identify the body.
The U.S. 101 freeway and many surrounding roads are closed indefinitely as crews continue to clear mud and rocks from the community inundated by flash floods last week.
A candlelight vigil is planned for the victims of devastating mudslides in Southern California.
Five people remain missing Sunday as crews continue to remove mud, boulders and downed trees five days after a powerful storm sent flash floods rushing through coastal Montecito, killing at least 19 people.
The vigil organized by Montecito elected officials is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden. The event will include an interfaith service. Anyone wanting to attend is invited to bring candles.
The mudslides before dawn Tuesday destroyed at least 65 homes and damaged more than 460 others.
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