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Death toll in California mudslides rises to 17

14 January 2018

A mandatory evacuation order has been extended, as Santa Barbara's County Sherriff said residents staying behind were hindering recovery efforts. "I'm told there was about 5 feet (1.5m) of mud".

The show will check-in with Ellen's Montecito neighbor, Oprah Winfrey, who will update conditions.

She was pulled from a collapsed Montecito home where she had been trapped for hours.

Mr Farrell told ABC News 7: "The scariest thing was the sound".

"I was screaming forever and ever and ever."

With no vegetation to hold back the land, Tuesday's heavy rainfall triggered mudslides and debris flows that rushed into neighborhoods and overtook houses. "I don't know anything about our home yet".

Now, we're hearing from that family as they share a message for the fearless group that saved them. We got it out, got the mud out of its mouth.

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'There was a moment where I turned and apologized to my folks because I didn't force them to evacuate. "Helicopters rescued some people who climbed onto the roofs of their homes to escape the torrent of water, and mud".

"We do understand that the closure of Highway 101 is causing great hardships for many, many people", Pontes said.

Thousands were without power, and there are reports of injuries and authorities have confirmed at least two fatalities in connection with the mudslides.

"These mudslides, they call them flash floods for an absolutely good reason".

The deluge - which struck Montecito after powerful rainstorms - overturned cars, uprooted trees and sent boulders crashing into homes in the valley below.

About 300 people were stranded in a canyon. Sometimes, the dispatcher will just have him wait at a truck stop until the road is clear and he's able to travel again, he said. "There've been plenty of cases where they've found people a week after", Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said earlier on a muddy Montecito street especially hard-hit by the mudslide.

The Montecito community will need months, if not years, to completely recover.

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

NASA has released a pair of images that show the scope of disaster from the Thomas Fire and Tuesday's mudslides in Montecito, California. "Debris is everywhere." "Thanks everyone for your prayers and concern", she wrote along the clip. My property is fine.

Winfrey's video shows herself trying to walk through deep mud and debris that covered her garden.

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

17 dead. More than 400 homes damaged.

The raging wildfire which swept through California a year ago, known as Thomas Fire, is believed to have intensified the mudslide by altering the makeup of the hillside ground into a loose mix of boulders and soil.

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