First Responders Search For Survivors After Deadly California Mudslides

U.S. 101 Swamped in Southern California

"We realise that this is going to be a long and hard journey for all of us and our community", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters at a late afternoon news conference. The affluent area is a draw for the wealthy and other stars such as actor Rob Lowe and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who have homes there as well.

"We've lost so many lives, and it's a tiny community, and nobody would've expected - certainly, I did not - that after we survived the fire, the rain would come".

The Deputy Director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health department, Susan Klein-Rothschild, said the mudslides have destroyed at least 65 homes and damaged another 462 other residences in the town.

"But we're going to do what we do". "We're getting the opportunity to help our neighbor we're going to go up there and do our best".

The USGS studies statistics of past landslides to predict how much rainfall will cause future natural disasters.

The recent Cecil B. DeMile recipient ran across a firefighter while on FaceTime and began questioning him about updates on those affected and the relief efforts taking place.

The slide also caused a "significant" gas leak, and fix efforts left homes on the street with no gas, electricity or water.

Winfrey wasn't under a mandatory evacuation order because her house is higher up on a hill, but she has been using social media to show just how bad the scenes were in Montecito this week. The order helps ensure there's the staffing and resources needed to continue to respond to the ongoing disaster and expedite debris removal.

The Thomas fire was the largest wildfire in recorded California history.

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"Everyone was saying to me, 'How's your property?'" the "Wrinkle in Time" star said from her estate.

"I have been through some experiences in my life, this is right up there with them, I gotta tell you".

A video uploaded to Instagram on Wednesday by USA media mogul Oprah Winfrey showed the impact of deadly mudslides on her property in the upscale California community of Montecito.

There was nothing left on the land to stop the wall of water as new video shows the mudslide's power and speed. "I thought I was dead there for a minute", Lauren Cantin said after workers spent six hours digging her out.

"The Sheriff's Office wants to express our heartfelt sadness to the family and friends of those who lost their loved ones", it said. It's a tight-knit community so everyone kind of knows everyone.

In a statement, Van Hecke said Rohter and his wife were swept away from their home in Montecito.

Tom Oschner, who had come to check on the remains of his sister's house said the destruction was devastating. Amber Anderson, a spokeswoman for the recovery effort, says their top priority is reaching those people, getting them to safety and finding the people who are still missing.

As the names of the 17 California mudslide victims were released Thursday (local time), crews kept digging through the muck and rubble looking for more people. "It is beyond recognizable".

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