Montecito and Carpinteria are especially vulnerable to mudslides because the steep terrain in some places goes from thousands of feet above sea level to sea level in just a few miles, said Tom Fayram, a deputy public works director with Santa Barbara County. Emergency services attributed this to "evacuation fatigue" after last month's fires. Rescues were partly reflected in the tally of missing, which was revised to eight from 17 on Thursday morning. "This remains a very active search and rescue mission". She said that her property was fine and that the damage "pales in comparison" to what her neighbors were going through.
"Financially that's a burden", she said.
In December, California Governor Jerry Brown said the state was "facing a new reality" as climate change meant wildfires could erupt "every year or every few years".
In an Instagram post on the same day many Democrats were talking about her for president because of her rousing speech at the Golden Globes, she shared photos of the deep mud in her backyard and video of rescue helicopters hovering over her house. "And there are families missing, there are people who are missing family members.it's catastrophic".
The chat show host paid tribute to the "amazing" rescue teams as helicopters were used to lift people stranded on rooftops after roads were left impassable due to downed trees and power lines.
More than 500 first responders and 10 dogs continued to search for survivors.
The mud came in an instant and swept away everything in its path. Trees, homes, vehicles, even people - nothing was spared from the rapidly flowing mud's wrath. Some had to hop onto the roof to get inside through an upstairs window.
As their names and those of 14 other victims were released Thursday, crews kept digging through the muck and rubble looking for more people.
"It sounded like the scariest monster you ever heard, banging on your door".
The debris also shut down parts of the oceanside U.S. 101, a major thoroughfare connecting northern and southern California.
Some residents watched as crews tried to clean up the area, still in disbelief. The rain really started coming down around 3 a.m., he said, and then the sky lit up from a "huge fireball" up the mountain, he said. Resident Peter Hartmann told CNN affiliate KCAL that the mudslides' destruction was all around. "Water was flowing out of water mains and sheared-off fire hydrants".