Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

A Huge Mudslide Just Tore Through California. This Is The Aftermath

A Huge Mudslide Just Tore Through California. This Is The Aftermath

"They've been working 24 hours a day".

"This is the worst I've ever seen it".

After a wildfire, burned vegetation and charred soil created a water repellent layer which blocked water absorption and led to an increased risk of mudslides and floods.

U.S. 101 Freeway at the Olive Mill Road overpass flooded with runoff water from Montecito Creek and blocked with mudflow and debris following heavy rains in Montecito, Calif., Jan. 9, 2018.

"I looked out my front window and saw my auto fly by", he said. We got it out, got the mud out of its mouth.

Some 163 people have been taken to hospital. In another, she wades through the mud in her backyard to show that it's nearly as high as the tops of her rain boots.

About 500 law enforcement officers and firefighters were combing mud-covered neighbourhoods, using dogs, helicopters and thermal imaging equipment to locate missing people.

The current death toll of 15 confirmed fatalities could rise, he warned.

"We've got a window that's closing, but we're still very optimistic".

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About 300 people were stranded in a canyon.

There has been no outpouring of complaints from people that wireless warnings should have been sent out earlier, and residents of affected areas spoke with The Associated Press said they knew they lived in evacuation areas but chose not to leave.

At least 20 people - four of whom were in severe or critical condition - were treated for storm-related injuries, said Dr. Brett Wilson, emergency department director at Cottage Health in Santa Barbara. He said those who perished range in age from three to 89 years old.

Some undamaged businesses closed as they lacked water, gas and other supplies to operate.

A wealthy Montecito neighborhood was also swamped with mud after the mudslides.

Thousands of Californians who were already forced to flee their homes due to last month's horrific wildfires were also ordered to evacuate over threat of mudslides.

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

"The house in back is gone", she could be heard saying as she inspected the damage.

Numerous locations hardest hit by the torrents had previously been devastated by the worst wildfire in California history, increasing worries about the possibility of mudslides in the freshly burned areas. With the wildfires leaving behind a waxy layer of debris that made it hard for water to infiltrate the ground, the downpour caused flash floods in the fire-scarred Santa Ynez Mountains.

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