Crews slowly making progress removing debris after mudslides

Crews slowly making progress removing debris after mudslides

Crews slowly making progress removing debris after mudslides
This Jan. 11, 2018 satellite image released by DigitalGlobe News Bureau shows an area of homes after storms caused mudslides and flooding in Montecito, Calif. The number of missing after a California mudslide has fluctuated wildly, due to shifting definitions, the inherent uncertainty that follows a natural disaster, and just plain human error. (DigitalGlobe News Bureau via AP)

MONTECITO, Calif. /January 13, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) — Recovery crews are slowly making progress digging away masses of mud, boulders and toppled trees in a California community that was ravaged by deadly mudslides.

But officials said Saturday they believe they’ve already removed enough debris from creek canals to prevent another potential disaster when the next rainstorm hits.

On Tuesday, a powerful storm sent flash floods cascading through mountain slopes that were burned bare by a huge wildfire in December. At least 19 people were killed and five others were reported missing.

Workers were using backhoes, jackhammers and chain saws to clear the debris in Monticeto. The county’s emergency management chief warned that debris basins have to be cleared before the next storm, which could hit the region next week.

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By MICHAEL BALSAMO, by Associated Press – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC (Z.S)

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