Rescuers Seek Survivors after California Mudslides Kill 17

Rescuers Seek Survivors after California Mudslides Kill 17

Rescue crews used helicopters to life people to safety due to blocked roads.

Most deaths were believed to have occurred in Montecito, Santa Barbara County spokesman David Villalobos said.

Several homes have been destroyed by mudflows, Mike Eliason, a spokesperson with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, said on the social media site.

At least eight people are missing on January 11 after mudslides and boulders destroyed homes in Santa Barbara County, reports CNN.

At least 50 people have been rescued by helicopters in the area, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said in a Tuesday night news conference.

Southern California can not catch a break, as fallout from half a dozen historically destructive wildfires continues with this week's widespread flash flooding occurring in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. "It was literally a carpet of mud and debris, everywhere", said Brown. Firefighters slogged through waist-high mud to pull a muck-covered 14-year-old girl out of the ruins of a home in Montecito, where she had been trapped for hours.

About 300 people were stranded in a canyon.

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Jeff Gater, Santa Barbara County's emergency manager, told the Los Angeles Times the county did not use the cellphone alert system out of concern that it might not be taken seriously.

California is having a string of bad luck when it comes to natural disasters. However, just last month the majority of this area burned in the Thomas Fire, one of the largest ever in the state's history.

The December wildfires burned away hectares of brush and vegetation that normally would have soaked up heavy rainfall in the hills north of Los Angeles.

Cia Monroe said her family of four was lucky their home wasn't ruined and they were all healthy and safe, though her daughter lost one of her best friends.

While the town is best known as a getaway for the rich and famous - the median home price among current listings is more than $4 million - there are also working families living in modest houses and apartments.

At least 15 people have died and more than two dozen others were injured.

This comes after a record-setting year of $306 billion of weather and climate-related disaster costs in the U.S., its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

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