California mudslides: Crews dig through debris

The 2017 Thomas fire that burned in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties left behind vast swaths of charred landscape like this area in Upper Rincon Canyon

California mudslides: Crews dig through debris

Heavy rain on Tuesday, which followed 10 months of drought, sent sticky mud and debris flowing from the hills into Montecito and other towns in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles.

"Had we not gone over there, I don't think that kid would have [survived]", he added.

With many roads blocked, rescue crews used helicopters to pluck people from their rooftops.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department firefighters respond to mud and debris flow due to heavy rain in Montecito.

"This is the 101 freeway in my neighborhood right now", she said. Fourteen helicopters and four water rescue teams were aiding the effort.

United States 101 Freeway at the Olive Mill Road overpass flooded with runoff water from Montecito Creek and blocked with mudflow and debris following heavy rains in Montecito, Calif., Jan. 9, 2018.

"They're finding people and bodies and I mean, you hear the word mudslide and you have no idea the impact that it has, but after the largest fire in California history, it's catastrophic".

The area is home to a number of celebrities, including actor Rob Lowe, chat show host Ellen DeGeneres and TV personality and actor Oprah Winfrey. "I was frozen yesterday morning thinking, 'This is a million times worse than that fire ever was'". "We're just happy for everyone that makes it".

The heavy rains have been unsafe because vegetation is missing - burned away by the Thomas Fire - that would normally help channel the water and mud flow.

'Our current libel laws are a sham'
It's unclear what Trump could do to change libel law , which are at the state level and governed by Supreme Court precedent. You can't say things that are false, knowingly false, and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account".

Man rams armored personnel carrier into shop, steals wine
According to witnesses, the clearly drunk guy crushed a parked auto on his way to smashing the window to a convenience store. It's still unclear how the man was able to steal the tank , and how he had the operational knowledge to drive the vehicle.

Zinedine Zidane confirms new Real Madrid contract - but says it 'means nothing'
Zidane later remarked: "You can analyse whatever way you like and say that we are going through a time of crisis". People might think that everything comes easy to me, that I do it all by instinct, but they'd be wrong.

The flooding comes just weeks after the Thomas fire burned almost 282,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, stripping hillsides of vegetation needed to stem water runoff during rainstorms.

The ESRI map combines data collected from various geographical agencies such as USGS, Bureau of Land Management and NGA as well as NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

More than 5 inches of rain fell in Ventura County, according to the National Weather Service in Los Angeles, which said rainfall rates were "unprecedented".

The drenching rainstorm that triggered the disaster cleared out and was no longer a hindrance as searchers made their way across a landscape strewn with boulders and covered shoulder high in places with mud the consistency of wet cement.

Thousands had to leave their homes, many for the second time in two months.

The most impacted area has been Montecito, the wealthiest community in Santa Barbara county.

County Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni said five people were found dead on Tuesday in Montecito, possibly as a result of the storm.

"All hell broke loose", said Peter Hartmann, a dentist who moonlights as a news photographer for the local website Noozhawk.

Latest News