A Southern California man is being hailed as a hero after what he did during the recent mudslides that have claimed the lives of over a dozen people. After what he pulled from under four feet of mud, this man deserves a tremendous amount gratitude.
According to the New York Post, a couple from Montecito frantically climbed on top of their roof as millions of pounds of mud and debris slid through their home and all around it. Now, the amazing husband and wife are telling their story of how they left the safety of their rooftop to look for mudslide victims.
At least 15 people have been killed in the powerful mudslides that have destroyed much of Montecito, California. According to Fox News, Berkeley Johnson and his wife, who live in Montecito, didn’t hesitate to take action to help find survivors in need of life-saving help.
Many are calling Johnson a hero after he had to dig into four feet of mud to rescue a baby he and his wife had heard crying close to his neighbor’s house on Tuesday, January 9, 2017. “We don’t know where it came from, but we got it out, got the mud out of its mouth. I hope it’s OK. I’m glad we got it out, but who knows what else is out there?” he told local channel KSBY.
The baby Johnson rescued was reportedly taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. According to KSBY, the infant’s condition remains unknown at this time. In another heroic rescue captured on social media, a 14-year-old girl could be seen covered in mud as she was pulled from a collapsed Montecito home where she had been trapped for hours. “I thought I was dead for a minute there,” the teen could be heard saying on a video posted by KNBC-TV before she was taken away on a stretcher.
Unfortunately, the death toll from the Montecito mudslides in California, which were brought about by a powerful winter storm, is expected to rise as firefighters and rescue teams continue to search the debris. Dozens of homes were swept away, with the residents still inside. The search and rescue crews worked tirelessly as more than a half-inch of rain fell in five minutes on Tuesday, officials said.
“Right now our assets are focused on determining if anyone is still alive in any of those structures that have been damaged,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a news conference. He added that there are “at least several dozen homes that have been either destroyed or severely damaged, and likely many other ones are in areas that are as-yet inaccessible.”
— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) January 9, 2018
The majority of those who lost their lives are believed to have lived in the Montecito neighborhood which is located just outside Santa Barbara, according to Santa Barbara County spokesman David Villalobos. The catastrophic mudslides are being attributed to California’s largest wildfire in modern history, which left the landscape absent of vegetation to hold the soil down when the storm hit.
John Livergood, a resident of Carpinteria, said, “It sounded like a freight training coming down the hill, you could hear these boulders rolling down, the whole house was shaking.”
Authorities had issued evacuation orders for recently burned areas outside of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties. Sadly, only about 10 to 15 percent of the residents in the mandatory evacuation area of Santa Barbara left their homes before the mudslides occurred.
Rescue teams accompanied by search-rescue dogs continue their efforts to find survivors of the mudslides. Thank God for people like Berkeley Johnson and his wife who selflessly put their own safety at risk to save multiple victims from the wreckage of the powerful mudslides. Our prayers go out to the victims of this horrible disaster and their families.