Heavy rain in Southern California has triggered mudslides and debris flow in parts of the state scarred by recent wildfires, leaving people trapped in homes and cars as highways were shut down in the dark early Tuesday morning.
The wildfires were the biggest in California's history, which along with a drought that lasted several years until these rains, is ensuring a chain of catastrophic environmental events feed into each other, worsening the effects.
Tens of thousands of residents in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties are now being forced to evacuate just weeks after the Thomas Fire forced them to do the same. "Woke up to this blazing gas fire. then swipe left to see how deep the mud is in my backyard", she wrote.
"We're performing multiple rescues", Zaniboni said, adding that some of those brought to safety were buried in mud. And in the Sun Valley area crews were working to remove a Los Angeles Police Department patrol auto that became stuck in mud along a section of La Tuna Canyon Road south of the Foothill Freeway.
"What a day! Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara". "Helicopters rescuing my neighbors". About 500 law enforcement officers and firefighters were combing mud-covered neighborhoods, using dogs, helicopters and thermal imaging equipment to locate missing people. "13 lives lost. #Mudslides", the Cecil B. DeMille award recipient, 63, captioned her video montage on Instagram.
At least two dozen people were unaccounted for and authorities have rescued at least 50 people in the Montecito area, the report said.
Forecasters said the maximum rainfall occurred in a 15-minute span starting at 3:30 a.m. near the Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria areas of Santa Barbara County. This is the 101 freeway in my neighborhood right now.
The death toll in weather-related incidents in Santa Barbara County has risen to 15 early Wednesday, after a storm led to risky mudflows in the Thomas Fire burn area.