LA CONCHITA, Calif. – Four more bodies were pulled from debris in Southern California Wednesday, raising the death toll in the La Conchita (search) mudslide to 10.
After viewing the deadly destruction, Schwarzenegger vowed, "We will match the power [of nature] with our own resolve."
Schwarzenegger also lauded the community spirit that prevailed after the disaster. "It's extraordinary the way people have come together here from the moment the mudslides hit," Schwarzenegger said. "People rushed to the aid of their neighbors, helping each other escape the danger and trying to find survivors."
Twelve people remained missing after Monday's 30-foot mudslide, which was triggered by five days of nearly nonstop rain that has killed 25 people in California since Friday.
The days of torrential rains also triggered fatal traffic accidents all across the state, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands, imperiled hillside homes and caused flash floods.
Ventura County Fire Captain Danny Rodriguez said rescuers searching overnight with high-tech cameras and their hands found the bodies of the three children and an adult, who were the wife and daughters of resident Jimmie Wallet, who has been a constant presence on the scene.
Wallet, 37, had been searching alongside firefighters for his missing 36-year-old wife Michelle and their three daughters, Hanna, 10, Raven, 6, and Paloma, 2.
After the bodies were found, friends took him out of town with his 16-year-old daughter, who was in Ventura when the slide hit.
"I'm very pleased with the hard work and all the effort in finding my family," Wallet said in the statement relayed to The Associated Press by Ventura County sheriff's chaplain Ron Matthews.
Wallet had gone to pick up ice cream when the mudslide hit on Monday. Emerging from a store, he watched the dirt curve toward his block. He sprinted to his home, but it was buried under the muck.
By early Wednesday, no new sounds had been heard under the rubble for more than 24 hours. But Ventura County Fire Chief Bob Roper said teams would continue looking and listening for signs of life.
"We're still finding voids," he said, referring to air pockets survivors could use to breathe. "We're still going to continue this as a search and rescue operation."
Crews were bringing in a radar device Wednesday to scan into the debris pile, he said.
Ten people were injured in the slide, which came down like a curving, rolling waterfall onto the tiny town between Highway 101 and a coastal bluff in Ventura County.
Fifteen homes were destroyed and 16 were damaged. Roper said the slide rolled homes over and intermixed debris, hindering efforts to identify the rubble of specific houses.
Early Wednesday, chain saws buzzed as bulldozers and backhoes crunched through sections of the debris pile that were being cleared from the town, having failed to yield any bodies or survivors after more than a day of probing. Diesel exhaust from their equipment hung heavily in the air.
Residents and families also picked through the muddy rubble. One resident pulled out a torn curtain, others dug up a broken clothes hanger, a stack of recipes and a backpack. Nearby, an enormous passenger bus lay on its side, a white sedan crushed underneath.
The painstaking search through layer upon layer of muck was made more difficult by the jumble of stiff pieces of homes that had mixed with the mud, including baseboards, doors and frames. Rescuers tried to carefully scoop out parts of the pile to make sure they checked sections of trapped air where a survivor might be able to breathe.
The searchers were using dogs trained to search for live victims and others that can locate cadavers. If rescuers believed they had located an air pocket, both types of dogs would be called over to determine if anyone was nearby, said Capt. Bill Monahan, head of the Los Angeles County Fire Department canine unit.
Monahan said he had been up for four days straight working on rescue efforts elsewhere during Southern California's record downpours, before he was called to La Conchita.
"It's been four days of death and destruction," he said.
Rescuers were given a break Tuesday when the rains finally stopped. National Weather Service (search) forecaster Stuart Seto said clear skies were expected to remain through at least the weekend.
Still, the damage was felt far from California.
Muddy rivers roared through towns along the Nevada-Arizona-Utah lines on Tuesday, flooding homes in the Nevada resort town of Mesquite and forcing the evacuation of about 100 people in nearby Overton.
Fourteen houses were destroyed or washed away at the northwest Arizona community of Beaver Dam. Emergency crews were at work Wednesday grading a 12-mile-long dirt road for the community's roughly 1,400 residents, who were isolated because their main road was washed out at a bridge. No deaths or serious injuries were reported.
In central Arizona, about 800 people living east of Tonto Creek in Punkin Center were marooned at their homes Wednesday because the creek was too deep to cross.
About 20 homes had been washed away in southwest Utah's Washington County, Sheriff Kirk Smith said Wednesday. One man was missing near St. George after high water swept him off the top of his stalled car, but no other injuries had been reported.
Utah National Guard (search) helicopters airlifted people out of the Gunlock and Motoqua areas near St. George after they were isolated by a bridge washout, said Washington County Chief Deputy Perry Lambert.
A search resumed Wednesday in western Colorado for a skier missing since Sunday. His wife and daughter were found alive early Tuesday. More than 10 feet of snow has fallen in some areas of the western Colorado mountains, and a cold front was expected to arrive late Wednesday with subzero temperatures.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.