Mangled car, destroyed homes show mudslide devastation

  • Mangled car, destroyed homes show mudslide devastation

Mangled car, destroyed homes show mudslide devastation

The TV icon's estate was caught up in flooding and mudslides that have killed at least 13 in California.

The mud was unleashed in the dead of night by flash flooding in the steep Santa Ynez Mountains, where hillsides were stripped of vegetation last month by the biggest wildfire on record in California, a 440-square-mile blaze that destroyed 1,063 homes and other structures.

A short drive from the centre of Santa Barbara, the small neighbourhood of Montecito, known as an enclave of celebrities and billionaires, was one of the areas worst hit by the mudslides.

One rescue worker tearfully described plucking a "muddy doll" of a toddler from under several feet of debris.

"I thought I was dead for a minute there", the dazed girl could be heard saying on video posted by KNBC-TV before she was taken away on a stretcher.

"I don't know how the baby survived", Mr Berkeley told the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper.

"I've never seen that part of Montecito flood like this", he says. She hoped to find them in a shelter or hospital.

The county's Sheriff Bill Brown told CBS This Morning that officials are now working to identify people who may still be trapped, particularly in isolated areas. The death toll rose on Wednesday afternoon after two more bodies were found.

Helicopters were used to hoist more than 50 people to safety from roofs, where they scrambled to escape the mud or because debris had blocked roads and left them stranded. A member of the Long Beach Search and Rescue team looks for survivors in a vehicle in Montecito, Calif., Jan. 9, 2018. "It's crusty on top but soft underneath, so we're having to be very careful". "We think somewhere in the debris field".

California mudslides Rescue crews in montecito
REUTERSCalifornia mudslides Rescue crews and sniffer dogs tirelessly search for trapped residents

American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who has a residence in Montecito, tweeted a picture of US Highway 101, which was turned into a giant mud river.

"Last time he saw her was holding onto the door", said Hayden. "She had been trapped for hours in a pile of wood that was once her house". That's my neighbor's house. "We're just happy for everyone that makes it". The rains caused a monstrous mudslide that swept everything in its path.

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

Officials are asking the public to stay out of the area west of Sheffield Drive/East Valley Road/Ladera Lane, east of Olive Mill/Hot Springs Road, north of the ocean and south of the US Forest Service boundary.

The catastrophic debris flow struck the Montecito area around 4 a.m. (7 a.m. ET) Tuesday, Montecito Fire Chief Kevin Taylor said.

Further complicating matters after people ignored urgent warnings, the Weather Channel reveals how the instantaneous mudflow was "like a dam breaking" that surrounded homes, waist deep.

California has suffered severe drought in five out of six of the past years.

"There are mothers, fathers, grandfathers, siblings, and the list goes on and on", Brown said.