Ten missing as mudslides sweep through church camp
This fall's California fires are still claiming victims. The devastation coupled with yesterday's rains led to horrific mudslides in San Bernardino County yesterday, trapping and sweeping away campers at the Greek Orthodox Saint Sophia Camp in Waterman Canyon. (The Orthodox don't celebrate Christmas until January 6.)
As of late yesterday, fourteen campers had been rescued, but ten others (and perhaps more) are reported missing. Of the 14, four required treatment and were released from St. Bernadine Medical Center in San Bernardino.
"They were obviously very shaken up," hospital spokeswoman Kimberly VandenBosch told reporters. "One man came in with a little child and said he had just watched his wife and little daughter wash away. … Obviously, to see a wall of mud and water come at them was unlike anything they had ever experienced."
One of the campers "was trapped up to his waist in debris and we had to use chain saws to get him out," Tracy Martinez, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department, told the Los Angeles Times.
"There are people of all ages still missing," San Bernardino County Fire Marshal Peter Brierty said. "It will be a horrible tragedy if these people can't be found."
But the rescue itself is having trouble, as the mudslides have blocked bridges and other ways to the church camp. "We can't get into these areas either with either mechanical equipment rescue vehicles, fire engines and even on foot it's extremely difficult, extremely treacherous terrain," San Bernardino County Fire Marshall Peter Brierty said on the CBS Early Show today. He told the Times, "It's extremely difficult terrain. People are sinking in mud up to their hips. But we are going ...1