Before/After the Flood

TKTKTKTKIt’s been five days since the avalanche of mud, boulders, and rain ripped down the steep slopes of Montecito’s south-facing hillsides, burying who knows how many people in the onslaught. With every passing hour, the chances of finding survivors diminishes. Earlier this week, Sheriff Bill Brown spoke of hope and prayers when it came to finding survivors. Now he talks of miracles instead. Assigned to work such miracles are squads of highly trained search dogs, most of whom were schooled by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, located in Santa Paula. Of the 39 search dogs now assigned to the Montecito nightmare, 18 came from the Santa Paula training facility. Of those 39, roughly half are searching for survivors—“live finds”—in the parlance of disaster relief. No numbers are available yet as to how many survivors or remains these dogs have discovered in Montecito, but those at Incident Command agree these dogs have been invaluable. In the past two days, commanders have increased the number of dogs assigned to Montecito from 26 to 39.TKTKTKTK

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