At Least 13 Killed in Southern California Mudslides


At least 17 people have died as a result of the mudslides, which has destroyed houses and caused substantial damage in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Berkeley Johnson said the two-year-old girl was taken to hospital and suffered an injury to her hip.

Montecito has also been been hit by the Thomas fires which ravaged the surrounding Santa Barbara County a few weeks prior.

Winfrey shared harrowing footage of her backyard following the mudslides' roll through her neighborhood and on Tuesday.

Officials say they tried to give people living in the area ample warning starting the weekend before the storm via emails, text messages and phone calls. "Although we knew that this was coming you couldn't help but be amazed at the intensity of the storm".

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Celebrities who have properties in the area have also been affected.

Television mogul Oprah Winfrey's home survived the rainstorm and ensuring mudslides.

"So obviously, she's looking for human remains", Cullen told ABC News, referring to her canine partner. My property is fine. The evacuations were ordered because the mudslides threaten the communities beneath the foothills.

"Mourning the dead in our little town tonight", Lowe said. Homes and historic hotels were battered or swept away altogether. That's because burned soil can act as a water repellent like pavement, so rainfall that would normally be absorbed in the ground runs off rapidly after a wildfire.

Emergency service agencies have shut off natural gas to most parts of Montecito as they await repairs.

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The mud and debris overwhelmed many homes and wiped some of them out.

Bridget Bottoms, a resident who chose to stay, appeared to confirm their fears, declaring: "It sounds foolish but ... how bad can it get?" Streets in the region were clogged with mud, downed trees and debris including bits of destroyed homes and cars and trucks swept away by the mudslides.

"The house being gone, it's just a house, it's just some clothes and a house", Sam Johnson told Reuters.

"Thanks everyone for your prayers and concern", she wrote.

Eight people are still missing and rescuers have been working around the clock to try to find any survivors after a wall of mud tore down hillsides two days ago in the scenic area between the Pacific Ocean and the Los Padres National Forest. "This remains a very active search and rescue mission".

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The couple climbed down the room when flooding receded and heard a baby crying near their neighbor's home. "I thought I was dead there for a minute", Lauren Cantin said after workers spent six hours digging her out.