Rescuers 'searching for a miracle' after California mudslides

Ellen Degeneres forced out of home due to mudslides

Most residents of mudslide-ravaged Montecito were under orders to clear out Friday as the search for victims dragged on and crews labored to clean up the muck and fix power, water and gas lines.

County Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni said five people were found dead on Tuesday in Montecito, possibly as a result of the storm.

Montecito is located in Santa Barbara County, California. Edhat is providing these posts in case anyone has an update that can help the families. 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.

Roy Rohter has been confirmed to be deceased, according to KEYT News. Dozens more people were rescued on the ground, including a mud-caked 14-year-old girl who was pulled from a collapsed home in Montecito where she had been trapped for hours. Some victims said they were woken up in the middle of the night by a tiresome rumble similar to that of a freight train.

Additional details on the deaths were not immediately available, but officials said another 17 people were reported missing.

"Deadly runoff of mud, boulders, and debris destroyed homes that lined Montecito Creek near East Valley Road", Eliason wrote on Twitter.

Officials on Friday said at least 17 people died when mud, water and debris swept through the area.

Helicopters have also been transporting people out of the Romero Canyon neighborhood, where about 300 people were cut off after a massive debris flow blocked the road into the area.

"It looked like a World War I battlefield", Brown said of the destruction.

Local Santa Barbara resident Charles Stoop said the magnitude of damage is "worse because of the fires", referring to the devastating bushfires that ravaged the area last month. "I'm heartbroken for our community of Montecito".

Highway 101, which runs along the Pacific coast, was particularly inaccessible for about fifty kilometers.

Fires clear leaves and decomposing plant debris which would normally soak up the rainwater, and can also change the composition of the soil, making it repel water.

DeGeneres became emotional when talking about the community in which she lives with wife Portia De Rossi.

Officials said numerous deaths are believed to be in the coastal Montecito area, where mudflows and floodwater have inundated areas downstream from where the Thomas Fire burned thousands of acres last month.



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