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martes, 16 de enero de 2018

Donald and Melania extend their “deepest sympathies” to victims of California mudslides

The deadly mudslides in California’s Santa Barbara County have turned an affluent area known as the home of the rich and famous, into a horrifying area of devastation. So far the disaster has claimed 20 lives, with 3 still missing and expected dead.

President Donald Trump was briefed on the situation while staying at Mar-a-Lago, his club in Florida. The President and First Lady released a statement extending their “deepest sympathies” to the families of victims.

Trump Reaches Out

The statement was released by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who spoke to reporters about the mudslides:

The President and First Lady extend their deepest sympathies to the families affected, their appreciation for the first responders saving lives, and their prayers for those who remain missing.

Trump’s message was delivered while he spent the Martin Luther King holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

The Devastation in California

In the wealthy community of Montecito, CA, recovery crews are using backhoes, jackhammers, and other equipment to clear the massive amount of debris after catastrophic mudslides.

The slides occurred because of heavy rainfall on previously forested mountains which were burned to the ground in recent wildfires.

More rain is expected in the next few days, but crews say they think they’ve done enough clearing to prevent more mudslides.

Mud, huge rocks, and fallen trees are all being cleared by workers, who have come across missing bodies while clearing the debris, surely a trying experience for them.

Robert Lewin, Santa Barbara County’s Emergency Director, says the clock is still ticking. Lewin talked to CBS News:

If we don’t get those debris basins cleaned out, then we’re not going to be prepared for the storm and we don’t know what that storm is going to look like.

Over 65 homes have been completely destroyed by the mudslides alone; more than 460 are damaged. First responders are checking the structural integrity of homes that are still standing to see if they are safe for residents to re-enter.

Community infrastructure has also suffered; bridges and overpasses have been closed for stability issues and streets are cracked in half.

Workers have been laboring to get Montecito Creek cleared to help re-route water once the next storm comes.

Most of the 9000-member community is still under mandatory evacuation; over 2000 rescue and recovery workers are the only ones allowed in the area as they carry out a dual mission of repairs and body recovery.

There are no current plans for the President to visit the area.