Police hope for 'miracle' to find missing in mudslide

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One missing person was found alive on Saturday but chances were dwindling fast that more survivors could still be located from the torrent of mud and debris that struck on Tuesday, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

The founder of a Roman Catholic school and four children were among the victims of a deadly series of Santa Barbara County, California, mudslides that killed 18 people along the coast, officials said. Morgan's younger sister Sawyer was previously also found dead.

"At this moment, we are still looking for live victims", Pitney said.

Jim Shivers of Cal Trans said Highways 101 and 192 remain closed, but that his department is working "12-hour shifts, seven days a week" to get them reopened.

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"My sister was such a good person, she only thought of others to the point that she would cry with you when you were hurt or sick", said Jennifer Ramos, Marilyn Ramos' sister. Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Amber Anderson told reporters some 1,250 emergency workers were at work Friday, slogging through soupy mud and uncertain footing to search for anyone who is trapped. "It just exhausts the crews out there", Sacramento Fire Department Captain Pat Costamagna said in a social media video from the governor's emergency management office. Another system was possible two days later.

"I've been seeing the reports of people watching the auto just wash away with the mud, so it's fast moving, it's different and the clean up process as well, so I'm happy to be out there and to serve and see how the Red Cross responds to this type of disaster", Archangelo said. All warnings and orders for neighboring Summerland and Carpinteria were lifted. About 10,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders.

"It is not a safe or convenient place to be right now", Brown said.

Bulldozers cleared roads of tangled trees, muck and boulders while tanker trucks were being used to haul off floodwaters sucked up from U.S. Highway 101. Two boat companies that normally take tourists out to Channel Islands National Park and on whale-watching excursions were ferrying people between the Ventura and Santa Barbara harbors.

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"This house is across the street now so we have to search these piles where people could've potentially floated into", he said.

"We're going to tear them apart piece by piece and search each pile thoroughly and make sure there's nobody in there", Henzgen said.

The victims' ages ranged from 3 to 89 and the cause of death for all was "multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides due to recent wildfire", according to the sheriff's office.

The US Forest Service announced on Friday that the fire that burned 440 square miles had been fully contained. It erupted December 4 in Ventura County and destroyed more than 1,000 structures as it swept through the city of Ventura and then threatened Carpinteria, Summerland and Santa Barbara.

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The vicious mudflows that raced through the Southern California town of Montecito early Tuesday were swift and ruthless.

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