A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew from San Diego helped rescue a family of five and two dogs from the roof of a home in the mudslide's path in Montecito. 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.
Mud flowed "waist-high" 30 miles away in Montecito after heavy rainfall shortly after midnight, said Mike Eliason, a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. Authorities are also using helicopters to rescue people from inaccessible areas.
The slides occurred in the area of the massive Thomas fire that recently was extinguished.
This comes after a record-setting year of $306 billion of weather and climate-related disaster costs in the United States, its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.More news: In Kerala CM chopper row, CPM may foot bill
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"Firefighters successfully rescued a 14-yr-old girl after she was trapped for hours inside a destroyed home in Montecito", it added.
Floodwaters destroyed about 100 homes and damaged 300 more in Santa Barbara County.
Footage from Santa Barbara shows entire streets covered in mud and debris as well as flooded roads and highways, which remain closed, covered with rocks and boulders.
Weeks after being set ablaze with wildfires, California was hit with a series of deadly mudslides that left devastation in their wake.