California’s somber search effort continues

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (NBC News) – The death toll for the California mudslides has now reached 17 people, and time is running out for the eight missing mudslide victims that search and rescue crews still have not been able to locate.

Some 700 people are searching today for the last of those still unaccounted for, after the massive mudslides that rained boulders and slices of hillsides onto sleeping residents in Montecito.

With bodies being recovered yards away from homes and knee-deep mud now caking in the sun, the rescue effort is not easy.

Images of the moment the powerful torrents swept down the hillsides capture the dangerous destructive nature of the debris flow. The cleanup effort will take months, if not years.

“It’s kind of emotional to see all that happened here because it’s something I’ve never seen and I’ve been doing this 30 years,” said recovery worker Cameron Carlson.

Highway 101, usually clogged with traffic, is shut down and will remain so through the holiday weekend.

Nearly 500 homes were damaged and 64 were completely destroyed.

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