Ellen Degeneres forced to leave home after mudslides

Santa Barbara County Fire Search Dog Reilly looks for victims in damaged and destroyed homes in Montecito

Search Efforts Continue After California Mudslides Killed At Least 15

With his street thick with rushing mud it was too late to heed the area's voluntary evacuation advisory so he woke his wife and children and prepared to get them up to the roof. The local television news stations sent their youngest, prettiest, local reporters to stand in that mud for hours, reporting the most unimaginable sights of their young lives. It was so incredibly harrowing", said Brian O'Dea, author of "High: "Confessions of an International Drug Smuggler".

The mudslides were caused when heavy rain dumped half an inch of water on Montecito in five minutes, while nearby Carpinteria received almost an inch in 15 minutes. "The neighbors out back, their houses are gone".

O'Dea said he was at home with his family when his son pointed out a nearby fire lighting up the sky.

The media maven endured minimal home damage compared to other residents, but her heart went out to those who are missing or lost relatives in the mudslide.

"I said, 'We gotta get out of here.' As I turned the vehicle around and I looked in my rear-view mirror, I saw huge boulders the size of my auto rolling on the street behind me, and I went, 'Mother of God, this is like Independence Day, ' so I took off back down to the house", he said.

Just weeks after raging wildfires forced them to leave their homes, residents of the area to the east of Santa Barbara were being urged to leave after a deluge of mud, ash and boulders were unleashed by a ferocious storm. I mean, it was apocalyptic. "They were digging in the Montecito Inn and down there in the parking lots yesterday, and I think there may have been some fatalities down there, I don't know. It was like somebody had brought a chainsaw and started chopping down trees".

"This is how deep the mud is", Winfrey can be heard saying on the video.

"Safety officials just didn't see this happening", said Bastian. Tige said he was checking the downspouts of his home around 3:30 a.m. when the storm picked up.

Bridges said his house took a hit. The community is also reminded to report all missing persons to the Emergency Operations Center at 805-681-5542 and please be prepared to provide as much detail as possible to the call takers. With no vegetation left to absorb the rain, the slides came quickly amid a torrential downpour. "Thank you to all the search and rescue teams, firefighters, and everyone helping". He said close to 40 or 50 rescue crew members stayed for the better part of the day as "they were out looking for bodies". Bleckel was among those on the missing persons list, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

The victims' ages ranged from 3 to 89 and the cause of death for all was "multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides due to recent wildfire", according to the sheriff's office.

As California is at the beginning of its rainy season, O'Dea says he's anxious about how people will make it through.

Latest News