Officials say seven people remain hospitalized a week after they were injured in mudslides that devastated the coastal California town of Montecito, killing 20.
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital says that as of Monday evening, two of the seven still undergoing treatment were in critical condition. Three people including a 2-year-old girl remain missing. Twenty-eight patients have been treated and released.
The mudslides were triggered Jan. 9 by a powerful storm that dumped heavy rain on mountain slopes that had been burned bare by a huge wildfire in December.
The number of single-family homes determined to have been destroyed by mudslides has risen to 115. That's nearly double from estimates last week. The numbers are expected to fluctuate as damage inspections continue.
Gov. Brown's Office of Emergency Services announced a new disaster assistance program Monday, offering those in Southern California who've suffered damage or losses from wildfires or mudslides to register for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It's open to those affected in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
"What we say to people is that everyone should register and what FEMA does, they go through a process to determine whether or not you have eligibility for assistance," Office of Emergency Services director Mark Ghilarducci told KPCC's "Take Two."
Here's what's considered during eligibility screening:
- How much insurance you have
- The losses suffered
- Does the person's normal insurance policy provide enough coverage?
Here's what's being made available:
- Temporary housing (i.e. direct rental assistance, support with cost of hotels)
- Lodging expenses associated with long-term rental
- Financial assistance for the repair of your home
- Partial financial assistance in the replacement of your home
- Ability to apply for Small Business Administration assistance
- Disaster-caused childcare expenses, etc.
About 1,900 firefighters continued to work in the field, searching for people trapped in the mud and clearing debris.
Mike Smith, a spokesman for CalFire, said responders are working to restore services, but face difficult conditions, including major debris stuck within the mud.
“We’ve found boulders here so large ... that have had to have been drilled through and blown up with explosives just to move them," Smith said.
Although responders have made progress in clearing up most of the roads, they continued to focus on clearing individual properties and restoring utilities.
“It’s really a matter of rebuilding a community,” Smith said.
Officials say the U.S. 101 freeway is not expected to reopen until Jan. 22. It's been closed for a week.
Officials are expected to hold a community meeting at 4 p.m. at La Cumbre Junior High School, 2255 Modoc Rd. in Santa Barbara, to take questions from residents and update them on the latest efforts and conditions.
This story has been updated.