The Latest: US 101 near reopening after California mudslide

AP News
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Posted: Jan 19, 2018 8:17 PM

MONTECITO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the aftermath of a mudslide in California (all times local):

5 p.m.

Authorities say the key highway along the California coast has been cleared of debris and is a few days from reopening after a massive mudslide.

Tim Gubbins of the California Department of Transportation said Friday that U.S. Highway 101 has been cleaned of mud in Santa Barbara County, and workers are now clearing drainage areas and stabilizing embankments so it can reopen.

Gubbins says officials should know by Saturday whether they can meet their goal of a Monday reopening.

Authorities continue to look for three people still missing from the Jan. 9 mudslide that killed 20 people and destroyed hundreds of homes in Montecito.

Sheriff Bill Brown says more than a dozen new teams of search dogs will arrive in the area Saturday to seek out the 2-year-old girl, 17-year-old boy and 28-year-old woman who are still missing.

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7:30 a.m.

The top general of the Army Corps of Engineers has inspected operations at the scene of the devastating flash floods that hit Montecito, California.

KEYT-TV reports Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite toured the area Thursday and watched crews clear debris.

The main objective of the Army Corps of Engineers is clearing basins that capture debris flows during rainstorms.

The general said he sympathizes with residents who are going through what he called "a tough deal."

Twenty people are dead and three remain missing since a Jan. 9 storm dumped rain on the burn scar of December's Thomas wildfire above Montecito, unleashing flows that destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes.

A cold front passing through the area Friday is expected to carry little rain but leave a dusting of snow on mountains.