Oprah's home hit as family found in debris

Oprah's home hit as family found in debris

Three hundred people are also reportedly stuck in their homes, according to the New York Times.

The death toll from Tuesday's pre-dawn flash flood rose to 17 on Thursday as more bodies were found.

As new images of harrowing rescues and escapes emerge from across Southern California, the cleanup continues.

Road closed: United States 101 in parts of Montecito and Santa Barbara will remain closed for at least 48 hours because of the muddy debris covering it, authorities said Tuesday. "But we just feel lucky that we were able to get out and (are) alive". "We have neighbors at (the) top of the street that evacuated to their roof", Hyatt said. "We think somewhere in the debris field".

Among the damaged properties were historic hotels and the homes of celebrities including television personality Oprah Winfrey and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres in Montecito. She was pulled from a collapsed Montecito home where she had been trapped for hours.

The mudslide was so powerful it swept several homes completely away and wrapped cars around trees. She posted on social media late Tuesday night, "the house in the back is gone". "13 lives lost. #Mudslides", the Cecil B. DeMille award recipient, 63, captioned her video montage on Instagram. "Following our fire, this is the worst-case scenario".

More news: 'Three Billboards' interview: Director Martin McDonagh bemoans 'bland PC filmmaking'

Burned vegetation and charred soil create a repellent layer which prevents this rainwater from being absorbed.

The torrential rainstorm that set off the disaster cleared out and was no longer a hindrance as searchers made their way across a landscape strewn with boulders and covered in cement-like mud shoulder-high in some places.

Montecito, S. Barbara Co, CA - At least 15 people have been killed and more than two dozen injured as a vast area northwest of Los Angeles, recently scorched in the state's largest wildfire on record, became the scene of another disaster on Tuesday, as a driving rainstorm, the heaviest in almost a year, triggered floods and mudslides.

A devastating mudslide has killed at least 15 people in Montecito, Santa Barbara, but why do mudslides happen and what made this one so risky?

"I know it sounds like it's a constantly moving number", Brown said.

The US Coast Guard has sent "multiple airships to support rescue operations" and warned the public not to fly drones, otherwise the flights would be grounded. The blaze burned more than 440 square miles and more than 1,000 homes, businesses and other buildings in the area last month.

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