Heavy rain in California brings huge mudslides and floods

Mud and debris gather outside the Montecito Inn along Olive Mill Road in Montecito after a major storm hit the burn area January 9, 2018 in Montecito, California. He also spoke about the damage.

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. The fire destroyed more than 1,000 structures.

At least 13 people have been killed and dozens of homes have been swept away after mudslides roared down the Californian hillsides. CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reports more than 20,000 people have been placed under evacuation orders northwest of Los Angeles.

Debris flows hit early Tuesday morning when a tremendous amount of rain fell quickly on hills and mountains scarred last month by the largest wildfire on record in California history.

Authorities in Northern California say a man died after his auto was apparently struck by falling rocks in a landslide Tuesday evening in Napa County.

Officials say Highway 121 between Wild Horse Valley Road and Wooden Valley Road remains closed.

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Muniz says a search of the stricken area is continuing.

Bill Brown, the sheriff of Santa Barbara, said: "It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere with huge boulders, rocks, downed trees, power lines, wrecked cars, lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes, let alone to get people out of them".

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.

A storm that slammed a California coastal community is over.

The heavy rains that spawned mudslides in Southern California on Tuesday that left at least 15 people dead left a path of destruction in a wealthy enclave home to celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Ellen DeGeneres.

Those numbers could increase when the search is expanded Wednesday and search-and-rescue teams reach new areas.

  • Adam Floyd