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The death toll from mudslides that devastated parts of California's scenic Santa Barbara County rose to 19 on Saturday amid a massive influx of emergency crews searching for five people still missing.
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.
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'While every hour it remains less likely we'll find anyone alive, there remains hope,' he said at a news conference.
Brown said a 19th victim had been found and named her as Morgan Corey, 25. Her 12-year-old sister Sawyer had previously been discovered dead after their home was swept away this week.
Corey - Morgan - Mud - Home
Corey and Morgan were sleeping when the mud smashed into their home.
Seven people had been missing at the start of the day, which saw about another 900 emergency personnel arrive in Montecito, north of Los Angeles, to join the relief effort under way by more than 2,100 personnel from local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy and the American Red Cross.
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'We have to do whatever it takes,' said Capt. Tom Henzgen, leader of a team from the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The ramped-up rescue effort is in response to urgent requests for additional manpower made earlier in the week.
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'We need that number to effectively meet our objectives,' said Amber Anderson, a spokesman for the multi-agency response team. 'To get people here takes time and we're finally getting that request for influx.'
On Friday, the sheriff's office made a plea for information on any of the missing residents, who range in age from two to 62.
Disaster - Tuesday - Rains - Area - Montecito
The disaster struck on Tuesday after heavy rains soaked the area near Montecito, where vegetation had been denuded by the largest...
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