13 killed in Southern California as rivers of mud wipe out homes

13 killed in Southern California as rivers of mud wipe out homes

A teenage girl was pulled from the brink of death following Tuesday's tragic flooding and mudslides in Southern California.

Eight people are still missing and rescuers have been working around the clock to try to find any survivors after a wall of mud tore down hillsides two days ago in the scenic area between the Pacific Ocean and the Los Padres National Forest.

Winfrey, who lives in the affluent Santa Barbara enclave of Montecito, looked sullen as she carefully trod through her yard, cluttered with fallen tree branches and other debris.

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.

American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who has a residence in Montecito, tweeted a picture of US Highway 101, which was turned into a giant mud river. With no mandatory evacuation order or apparent need to worry, hundreds of people were caught off guard and ill-prepared for the deadly mudslides that flowed through the area.

The body count as of Wednesday was 15, with 25 reported injured and 50 having to be rescued.

"Right now our assets are focused on determining if anyone is still alive in any of those structures that have been damaged", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said, according to Time.

More than 100 homes were destroyed, and another 300 have been damaged.

Heavy rain run-off caused mudflow in the community of Montecito, where some homes were knocked from their foundations, the BBC quoted Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason as saying. Looking for missing persons.

The county's Sheriff Bill Brown told CBS This Morning that officials are now working to identify people who may still be trapped, particularly in isolated areas.

A 14-year-old girl was also rescued from the mud after being trapped for hours.

The mudslides were triggered by torrential downpours that unleashed rain on the region, which was hit by last month's mammoth Thomas Fire - the largest wildfire ever recorded in California.

One such resident, Marco Farrell, 45, called the slide more frightening than the "biggest, scariest, horrifying monster you've ever dreamed of".

"I told her to stay on the second floor, but she went downstairs and opened the door and just got swept away", Hayden Gower said.

He yells: "Oh my god, Mom!" before sprinting back into the house.