Caught in mudslide that was up to his neck, but the sounds he hears—he’s rushing to neighbors

January 10, 2018 5:15 pm Last Updated: January 10, 2018 5:15 pm

This week has been incredibly rough for the people of Santa Barbara County, California. With mudslides ravaging towns and destroying property, it’s been a chaotic situation that has many people struggling simply to survive.

Stephanee Jimenez explained to KSBY that the situation had become so bad, that her local highway was inaccessible due to the flooding.

“It looked like a river, you were just crossing through a river,” she shared.

Berkeley Johnson is a man who knows of the horrors first-hand.

(KSBY News/Youtube Screenshot)

He, along with his wife, Karen Johnson, were living in an affected part of the county. Being forced onto their home’s roof when the mudslide slammed against their home and demolished the inside and afterwards began piling up muck 8 feet high, the two were worried and concerned for what was going to happen to them.

“I heard the rumbling of the rocks and I looked up and the river and the trees were coming down like chum, chum, chum,” Berkeley explained. “We ran into the house and right then the boulders busted through our house.”

Waiting out the flooding, the waters finally began to recede from their house. The two were finally able to come down from the roof, but it was a sobering and heartbreaking moment when they saw the state their house was left in. And the thought occurred to them to check in on their neighbors, and as they made their way over, Berkeley heard something that had him jumping into action once again. 

“It was dark, [there had been] mud up to your neck,” Berkeley said.

(KSBY News/Youtube Screenshot)

It was the sound of a baby crying.

Rushing to help, he identified the area where the cries were coming from and there buried under the mud somewhere was a child.  He quickly went to work digging it out.

“We don’t know where it came from but we got it out,” Berkley explained.

(KSBY News/Youtube Screenshot)

Getting the baby out, Berkeley and Karen began trying to administer life-saving techniques. 

The infant ended up being taken to a local hospital to receive treatment. While its current condition remains unknown, without Berkeley’s quick thinking and action the infant very surely would have died. Reacting to the story, Berkley was visibly shaken by the ordeal, but proud of his actions.   

“I’m glad we got it out but who knows what else is out there,” Berkley went on to say.

Though he explains that he doesn’t know how he the baby is doing, Berkley was left very emotional by the situation. The bitter-sweetness of the story is not lost on him, and he hopes that others who are in similarly precarious situations manage to get help in time, and that those who are put on the spot where they can either save a life or walk away, that they’ll do the right thing.

Listen to Berkeley talk about the ordeal below.