Residents rescued as mud inundates California burn areas

Residents rescued as mud inundates California burn areas”

She added, "I think the county did what it could issuing evacuation orders yesterday".

Thousands of people in wildfire-affected areas in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties were ordered to evacuate on Monday ahead of a winter storm that brought heavy rain to the area.

He also warned of "waist-deep mud flow" as well as downed trees and power lines across the area, which have left responders' access severly limited.

Authorities say two people have been killed by a mudslide that has destroyed homes during a powerful Southern California storm.

Many rescue operations are underway to remove people trapped in vehicles and homes, and those living in the Summerland and Carpinteria areas are being advised not to use side streets to bypass the closed sections of freeway.

Santa Barbara County authorities say there have been five confirmed fatalities as of Tuesday morning and there is a backlog of 75 calls for rescue or evacuation from the area.

Crews are working to clear debris from a key stretch of USA 101 that was shut down along the border of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

"There have been numerous reports of missing persons", Mona Miyasato, county chief executive officer, said during a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday morning, which was cut short because of the devastation.

The mom and her newborn baby wait on the roof with one of the rescue crew
The mom and her newborn baby wait on the roof with one of the rescue crew

Crews rescued other residents from inundated homes as mud and debris from wildfire-scarred hillsides flowed through neighborhoods.

Officials did not provide any further information on the girl's condition or if any of her family members had been trapped.

Thousands are without power in and around Santa Barbara, northwest of Los Angeles. Record-breaking rain fell on the San Francisco Bay region before the system largely passed overnight, leaving diminishing showers there before dawn Tuesday.

The fire department also shared photos of U.S. Route 101 that was flooded with runoff water from Montecito Creek.

Evacuation orders were issued Monday as forecasters predicted mudslides in foothill neighborhoods where the state's largest-ever fire raged last month.

The National Weather Service is warning of the potential for flash flooding "for much of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties", with rainfall rates as high as an inch and a half per hour.

A winter weather advisory is in place for mountain areas, where officials warned motorists to prepare for hard travel conditions, including gusty winds, low visibility and snow-covered roads.

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