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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
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DA-WOODY

COLD-WATER VOLCANO = MUD LAVA ERUPTIONS

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More deadly than the Fires (so far as reported) and Just the beginning of the Rain Season
 
The MUD Buries its victims and can Push Over or Undermine Anything in its path
 

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

By Jason Hanna, Stella Chan and Paul P. Murphy, CNN

 

Updated 11:52 PM ET, Tue January 9, 2018

 
 
 
 
  • Death toll could rise in after floodwater and mud wiped away homes, officials say
  • Region is especially vulnerable to flooding after recent wildfires
 

(CNN)Heavy rains unleashed destructive rivers of mud and debris in Southern California on Tuesday -- leaving at least 13 people dead, destroying homes and spurring rescues as the flooding forced heavily traveled roads to close.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said the death toll could rise. Officials said many of the deaths are believed to be in the coastal Montecito area, where mudflows and floodwater have inundated areas downstream from where the Thomas Fire burned thousands of acres last month.
At least two dozen people were unaccounted for and authorities rescued at least 50 people in the Montecito area. The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department is working toward determining whether those "missing" were accounted for in other locations or among those who are deceased.
 
 
"It looked like a World War I battlefield," Brown said of the destruction. "It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere, with huge boulders, rocks, down trees, power lines, wrecked cars -- lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes."
Mud fillled a Burbank street, destroyed two cars and damaged property.
 
Mud fillled a Burbank street, destroyed two cars and damaged property.

Latest developments

• Thirteen storm-related deaths were reported in Santa Barbara County, Sheriff Brown said.
• The 101 Freeway in parts of Montecito and Santa Barbara, will remain closed for at least 48 hours after muddy, debris-filled water flooded parts of the seaside roadway, according to Capt. Cindy Pontes with the California Highway Patrol.
• By early Tuesday afternoon, more than 5.5 inches of rain had fallen in parts of Ventura County over two days, the National Weather Service said. In Carpinteria, nearly 1 inch fell in just 15 minutes, the agency said.
 

Check out this mudslide blocking NB lanes of 101 between Carpenteria and Montecito. The highway is closed from Ventura to Santa Barbara.

 
Phillip Harnsberger crosses through mud from a flooded creek in Montecito on Tuesday, January  9. Heavy rains unleashed destructive rivers of mud and debris in Southern California. At least 15 people have died.
 
Photos: Deadly mudslides in Southern California
Phillip Harnsberger crosses through mud from a flooded creek in Montecito on Tuesday, January 9. Heavy rains unleashed destructive rivers of mud and debris in Southern California. At least 15 people have died.
 
 
 
 
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Phillip Harnsberger crosses through mud from a flooded creek in Montecito on Tuesday, January  9. Heavy rains unleashed destructive rivers of mud and debris in Southern California. At least 15 people have died.
 
Photos: Deadly mudslides in Southern California
Phillip Harnsberger crosses through mud from a flooded creek in Montecito on Tuesday, January 9. Heavy rains unleashed destructive rivers of mud and debris in Southern California. At least 15 people have died.
 
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'Call after call' from stranded residents

Before the storm hit, Santa Barbara issued mandatory evacuations for more than 6,000 people, including living in those parts of Carpinteria, Montecito and Goleta, located below areas scorched by wildfires, including the Thomas Fire, county spokeswoman Gina DePinto said.
Voluntary evacuation warnings were in effect for another 20,000 people, including others in those same communities, she said.
Brown said deputies and search and rescue team members went door-to-door Monday conducting evacuations in the mandatory evacuation areas. Those notifications were all made by nightfall, Brown said.
"While some residents cooperated with the evacuations, many did not. Many chose to stay in place, "Brown said.
The sheriff said the storm hit hard around 3 a.m. Tuesday. Between 3 and 6 a.m., dispatchers with the sheriff's office handled more than 600 telephone calls for assistance.
"They received call after call from people who were distressed, stranded in their homes or vehicles and were in need of immediate rescue," Brown said.
He added: "Once daylight came, we had a very difficult time assessing the area and responding to many of those areas to assist those people."
Brown said the mud was "knee-deep" in many places on the roadways and even deeper in the canyons.
A tractor trailer in Southern California is stuck in mud and debris.
 
A tractor trailer in Southern California is stuck in mud and debris.

Teenager trapped for hours in Montecito

The rain fell in areas charred by recent wildfires, triggering warnings of flash flooding and mudslides because vegetation that otherwise would hold hills together and make the terrain flood-resistant has burned away.
In Montecito, six homes were "wiped away from their foundations" by mudflow and debris, Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason said.
Eliason said firefighters rescued a 14-year-old girl, who had been trapped for hours in a collapsed Montecito home. The girl, coated head to foot in mud, was led by firefighters from the pile of wood and debris that was once a house, a photo from the county fire department shows.
Firefighters lead a girl, 14, from the rubble where she'd been trapped for hours Tuesday in Montecito.
 
Firefighters lead a girl, 14, from the rubble where she'd been trapped for hours Tuesday in Montecito.
In another part of Montecito, Eliason said he saw "utter devastation."
"There were three houses that were completely knocked off their foundations. Debris and wood everywhere, looking like matchsticks," he said.
Eliason recalled looking at the red band on a radar, indicating heavy rainfall.
"When that hit those hillsides, it just came rushing down," Eliason said. "Time and time again, I found myself waist deep in floodwater.
The mud and debris left roadways and neighborhoods in Montecito unrecognizable.
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

View from the air in Montecito. Areas that had been roadways, driveways, and homes, are now unrecognizable due to the large amount of mud and debris flows.

 
 
 

'Mud came in an instant, like a dam breaking'

Ben Hyatt said a river of mud had crashed through a neighbor's house in Montecito, a community of about 8,000 east of Santa Barbara,
"Apparently, one of their cars ended (up) in their backyard. We have neighbors at (the) top of the street that evacuated to their roof," Hyatt said.
Hyatt said his Montecito house was "surrounded by mud," and a washing machine had drifted into his front yard.
Debris litters the area near Hyatt's home Tuesday in Montecito in Santa Barbara County.
 
Debris litters the area near Hyatt's home Tuesday in Montecito in Santa Barbara County.
Hyatt said he was awake when power went out during heavy rain around 2:30 a.m. Eventually, he heard a loud swish and banging on the exterior of his house.
"Mud came in an instant, like a dam breaking. (It) surrounded the house, 2 to 3 feet," he said.
"Seems calm now. We feel safe. But definitely stuck here for a bit."
 
PC_WixrqRR-DfNHV.jpg
 

This in front of the @FSSantaBarbara above #butterflybeach. Debris from our neighborhood no doubt.

 
 
There were several glimmers of hope, as emergency officials rescued stranded residents.
 
zHlHQyw44GQpCcE6.jpg
 

Victim who was swept away in their vehicle was located by the crew of AirSquad6. Victim was hoisted and flown to awaiting ground personnel.

 
 
Eliason, the Santa Barbara County fire spokesman, posted photos of firefighters leading people through mud and floodwater to safety.
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

#CAstorm- Santa Barbara county FF’s rescue two men and a woman from flood water/debris flow of Hot Springs Rd. in Montecito. Multiple rescues are underway throughout the area.

 
 
Also in Montecito, a ruptured gas line led to a fire that consumed a building, Eliason said.
Surveillance camera video appears to show an explosion connected to that fire, said Eric Trautwein, who posted the footage on Twitter.
 
 

Cars mired in the muck

Photos of vehicles stuck in mud in Los Angeles County and nearby areas dotted Twitter feeds. One post showed a California Department of Transportation crew trying to help a trapped motorist.
In another, a Los Angeles police squad car was mired in the muck. "Officers were responding to help with evacuations. Within seconds their vehicle was consumed by the mud," the post reads.
 

The #LARain Is Moving Fast. Officers were responding to help with evacuations. Within seconds their vehicle was consumed by the mud. All officers are safe.

 
 

'Praying' for Santa Barbara

Oprah Winfrey, who has home in Montecito, said she was "praying for our community again in Santa Barbara."
"Woke up to this blazing gas fire," she posted on social media.
Winfrey also showed photo of mud in her backyard.
"Helicopters rescuing my neighbors. Looking for missing persons. 13 lives lost," she wrote.

More than 1 inch of rain per hour

What's a mudflow?

Heavy rains make Southern California vulnerable to flooding and debris flows, especially after fires that strip steep hillsides of vegetation.

Mudflows, mudslides and landslides often are used interchangeably when disaster strikes, but the terms have distinctions.

A mudflow is "a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas," according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Other earth movements, such as landslide, slope failure or a saturated soil mass moving by liquidity down a slope, are not mudflows," it says.

FEMA sees a mudflow as similar to a milkshake, while the more solid mudslide is comparable to a cake.

The US Geological Survey dismisses mudslideas an "imprecise but popular term ... frequently used by laymen and the news media to describe a wide scope of events, ranging from debris-laden floods to landslides."

A landslide occurs when soil or rock moves downhill, usually due to gravity, but erosion, heavy rains and earthquakes can contribute to landslides.

 

Sources: FEMA, US Geological Survey

The rainfall rate of more than 1.5 inches per hour in parts of Southern California overwhelmed the landscape.
About a half inch per hour is enough to start mudslides, said Robbie Monroe of the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
The downpour is overpowering a terrain especially vulnerable in the wake of recent fires.
The Thomas Fire -- the largest wildfire in California's recorded history -- has burned more than 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties since it began in early December. It was 92% contained, and officials don't expect full containment until later this month.
Montecito and Carpinteria are vulnerable to mudslides because the steep terrain in some places goes from thousands of feet above to sea level to sea level in "a matter of just a few miles," said Tom Fayram, a deputy public works director with Santa Barbara County
"That's definitely at play here. It's just a mess," he said.
Fayram said crews working to clear mud and debris from roadways saw "boulders the size of trucks that came rolling down the hillsides."
"This is a disaster, much worse than the mudslides of 1995," Fayram said. We're trying to get help from federal and state officials."
The region has suffered from years of drought, and officials say they need the rain to regrow plants and trees that help keep the hillsides together and floodproof.
Rainfall and mudflow damaged guest cottages at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California.
 
Rainfall and mudflow damaged guest cottages at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California.
Mudslides are not uncommon to the area and can be deadly.
In January 2005, a landslide struck La Conchita in Ventura County, killing 10 people and destroying or damaging 36 houses.

CNN's Judson Jones, Darran Simon and Paul Vercammen contributed to this report.image.gif.4c36801a7268488682e42cb79c67b0b5.gif

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

So when do the famine and pestilence start?

I thought it was locusts first.

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12 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

I thought it was locusts first.

we've had MoonBeam = Samething!!

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And people thought I was crazy for living where blizzards, and hurricanes hit.... Then said I was crazy for moving where hurricanes hit.....

 I suppose we could have mud slides filled with trash, but they'd only go abut 6 feet.....

 On the other hand, we do have floods, which cleanse the trailer parks, and deposit debris all along the river banks below, and into the Gulf of the land who's name shall not be mentioned until they pay for the wall.

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At least 17 people are dead after heavy rains pounded Southern California, unleashing mudflows in areas ravaged by wildfires last month. 

Track the latest key details here>>

 All updates      Closures      Resources      Santa Barbara County      Topanga      Ventura County 
 
JAN. 9, 2018, 8:21 A.M.

Dramatic images of 101 Freeway blanketed in debris and mud

   
 
A view of the Northbound 101 freeway in Carpinteria as mud sits along the road from a rain storm Tuesday morning. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times) A view of the Northbound 101 freeway in Carpinteria as mud sits along the road from a rain storm Tuesday morning. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The 101 Freeway was hit hard by flooding and mudslides as heavy rains slammed the Thomas fire burn area Tuesday morning.

The freeway was shut down in both directions for more than 30 miles in the Thomas fire burn area because of flooding and debris flow, spanning an area from Santa Barbara to Ventura, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Highway 33 also has been closed between Fairview and Rose Valley roads north of Ojai, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

 
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Unbelievable. This the 101 North in Montecito/Summerland. Completely blocked with mud. #CAStorm

 
 
 
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WATCH: Mudflows in Montecito leaves roads blocked, cars trapped #LARain @jasmineviel

 
 
 

Mudslide blocking the northbound 101 freeway between #Carpinteria and #Montecito. Photo credit: Leah Pezzetti, KERO.

 
 
 

Massive debris flow blocking 101 freeway in Carpinteria. These are the Northbound Lanes.

 
 
 

Latest updates

 
Santa Barbara County
JAN. 10, 2018, 11:20 P.M.

Wearing a little boy's rainboots, 88-year-old Montecito resident evacuated with help of neighbors

Brittny Mejia
 
 
Neighbors help an 88-year-old woman, Gloria Hebert, evacuate her Montecito home. NoneNeighbors help an 88-year-old woman, Gloria Hebert, evacuate her Montecito home.

On Wednesday morning, Liana Mortazavi, 49, sat in the frame of the back door of the duplex where her mom has lived for nearly 40 years along Olive Mill Road.

She had driven from San Jose on Tuesday night and slogged her way through mud with a childhood friend to reach her 88-year-old mother, Gloria Hebert.

The front door was blocked by a tree, mud and debris. When they got inside the house, they pushed up a couch against the front door to keep more mud from seeping in. When Mortazavi measured the mud around the house where she'd grown up, she said there was 14-1/2 inches all around the house.

“It's impossible for my mom to walk out of here,” she said.

Although Mortazavi planned to call the Montecito Fire Department to help evacuate her mom, it was neighbors who came to the rescue.

Hebert put her arms around their necks and they lifted her together over the mud. She wore rain boots belonging to her neighbor's 6th-grade son. 

“What was amazing to me was that the community did come together,” Mortazavi said. “These are neighbors — I was a classmate with one of them since childhood. It’s amazing how these childhood relationships, they’ll just kick in really fast. There's this foundation of community.”

Mortazavi and her mom reached San Jose by 8 p.m. Wednesday. 

“My mom will stay with us as long as she needs to,” Mortazavi said. “If it’s a long-term thing, we’ve got a plan.”

 
 
Closures
JAN. 10, 2018, 4:56 P.M.

Track key details on Southern California storm evacuations and road closures

   
 
 

Santa Barbara and Ventura counties:

  • Evacuations: Residents in burn zones in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties were ordered to leave.
  • Highway 101 is open south of Carpinteria Avenue and Route 150, as well as in all areas of Ventura County, according to Caltrans. However, it remains closed north of Route 150 in Carpinteria. Highway 150 is open in all areas of Ventura County as of Thursday morning.
  • Highway 33 is closed between Fairview and Lockwood Valley roads north of Ojai, according to Caltrans.
  • Santa Barbara County fire officials have rescued several people trapped in debris flows on Hot Springs Road in Montecito. At least 17 people have died in the Montecito area. Approximately 100 homes were destroyed and 300 were damaged in the mudslides.

Los Angeles County:

 
JAN. 10, 2018, 12:37 P.M.
REPORTING FROM MONTECITO, CALIF.

Mud picked up one elderly couple and tossed them into closet

Melissa Etehad
 
 

Around 10 a.m. Wednesday, about half a dozen search-and-rescue crews, working in the wake of devastating rain and mudflows, began looking for missing people along Olive Mill Road and Hot Springs Road here.

Moving through a few feet of mud, rescuers looked inside wrecked cars and destroyed homes. Nearby, about a dozen nursing home staffers from Casa Dorinda braced the mud — many wearing sandals and sneakers— not expecting to see the level of devastation that now engulfed the street.

The nursing home employs 150 people and has around 300 residents. Many residents didn’t leave despite being under a voluntary evacuation order. One portion of the nursing home was destroyed.

After trekking through knee-deep mud, the nursing home staffers were greeted with happy cheers from residents. “Ahoy!” one yelled. 

Chris Lambert, 72, didn’t evacuate. He’s been a ER physician for the last 40 years and volunteers with the medical reserves corps in Santa Barbara County.

He said he heard a roaring noise around 6 a.m Tuesday, came out with his wife and saw people completely drenched in mud. He said he immediately began treating people.

 “I helped around 10 people. Many had lacerations and bruises,” he said.

He said he helped one elderly couple whose neighbors’ garage was pushed through their bedroom by the mudflow.

He said the mud picked them up and tossed them into the closet.

“They weren’t expecting it. One minute they’re sleeping and the next they’re being dragged by mud. Miraculously, they survived,” he said.

 
 
JAN. 10, 2018, 8:39 A.M.

La Tuna Canyon Road in Sunland remains closed

   
 
A woman trudges through mud piled on La Tuna Canyon Road after checking on her neighbor whose house was blocked by a mudslide that struck the area. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times) A woman trudges through mud piled on La Tuna Canyon Road after checking on her neighbor whose house was blocked by a mudslide that struck the area. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
 
 
Santa Barbara County
JAN. 9, 2018, 11:06 P.M.

About 300 people still stuck in Romero Canyon; rescue operations will resume at daybreak

Alene Tchekmedyian
 
 
Hot Springs Road in Montecito on Tuesday morning. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department)Hot Springs Road in Montecito on Tuesday morning. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

About 300 people remain stuck in their homes in Montecito’s Romero Canyon neighborhood after impassable roads halted rescue operations, officials said.

First-responders plan to launch aerial rescues at daybreak for those residents, all of whom are safe.

“So far there isn’t a concern about anybody being in any potential danger in that area,” said Rosie Narez, a spokeswoman for the multiagency storm response. “There’s no way in or out, so I mean, at some point … you’re going to run out of stuff, so you’re going to need help.”

Authorities said the residents are in a mandatory evacuation zone.

 
 
Santa Barbara County
JAN. 9, 2018, 9:50 P.M.

After frantic search, mother and daughter are reunited in Montecito

Melissa Etehad
 
 

Sally Mobraaten arrived at Santa Barbara City College in a frenzy Tuesday night.

The 56-year-old Goleta resident had already called 911 and driven around for a few hours looking for her 86-year-old mother, whom firefighters had evacuated from a Montecito condo. 

Mobraaten was nearly in tears as she spoke with a Red Cross volunteer. 

“I’m not sure where she could be,” the volunteer said. 

Determined to find her ailing mother, Mobraaten hopped back inside her white SUV and headed toward Vons on Coast Village Road, where the National Guard had been dropping people off. 

Along the way, she called called hotels in Santa Barbara. No luck. Despite police roadblocks on the streets, she forged ahead. 

Soon after, she pulled into the Vons parking lot and glanced around. Still no sign of her mom.

But then, she spotted an elderly woman wearing a red rain coat and a white hat. 

She breathed a sigh of relief and shouted: “That’s my mother!” 

With the engine of her SUV still running, Mobraaten jumped out, ran to her mother and gave her a kiss.

“I’m happy I found you, Mom,” she said as members of the National Guard helped them put her mother’s suitcase inside the car. 

Sally’s mom, Cynthia Mobraaten, wore a huge smile. 

Inside the car, Sally joked with her mom: “I’m so jealous you got to ride in a military vehicle…. I want to hear all about it.” 

“I bet my butt is still muddy,” her mom replied, chuckling. “I didn’t let you get your beauty sleep tonight I guess.”

 
 
JAN. 9, 2018, 9:24 P.M.

At one evacuation shelter, a makeshift message board helps people search for loved ones

Brittny Mejia
 
 
(Brittny Mejia / Los Angeles Times)(Brittny Mejia / Los Angeles Times)

At the evacuation shelter at Santa Barbara City College, someone taped up a white poster with the words “message board” scrawled in black. 

Written below, in blue, was “Augie & Karen Johnson,” with a question mark in front of their names. 

Other names, also next to question marks, filled the page, which turned into a makeshift forum for people to search for loved ones. They left their phone numbers on yellow sticky notes asking strangers to please call, sometimes telling the missing that they loved them. 

“He is OK,” someone wrote next to one crossed-out name.

Isacc Cervantes painstakingly checked each sticky note and piece of paper attached to the board, hoping to hear about his former co-worker Larry Lopez, who lives in Montecito.

Cervantes went through the parking lot a couple of times looking for Lopez’s truck and scoured the shelter, but wasn’t able to find him.

Cervantes met Lopez three years ago while the two worked together at UC Santa Barbara. Lopez was a mechanic and has since retired.

“From what I heard, where he lived is, like, totally gone now,” Cervantes said. “He doesn’t really have anybody that talks to him. He’s shut off from everybody.... I just wanted to see if he was here.”

Cervantes had been out for a drive with his wife and baby when he came to check the shelter.

“I just want to find him and make sure he’s OK,” he said. “I had to check.”

 
Santa Barbara County
JAN. 9, 2018, 8:21 P.M.

Oprah trudges through shin-deep mud after powerful rainstorm pummels her neighborhood

Alene Tchekmedyian
 
 

Oprah Winfrey offered prayers Tuesday to her neighbors in Santa Barbara affected by a powerful rainstorm that sent mud and debris flowing through neighborhoods recently under siege by wildfire.

In an Instagram post, the media mogul said she woke up to a blazing gas fire and then found shin-deep mud in her backyard. 

The post included video of her trudging through the debris, before she pans up to show that the “house in the back is gone.” 

“What a day! Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara,” she wrote. “Helicopters rescuing my neighbors. Looking for missing persons. 13 lives lost.” 

Winfrey made headlines recently after delivering an inspiring speech at the Golden Globes that led many to speculate about a possible 2020 presidential run. 

 
 
Santa Barbara County
JAN. 9, 2018, 7:29 P.M.

After a river ran through her front and back yards, her chickens found refuge on top of a car

Ruben Vives
 
 
Susan Moe's chickens were perched on rubble she said was on top of a car. (Susan Moe)Susan Moe's chickens were perched on rubble she said was on top of a car. (Susan Moe)

It was about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday when Susan Moe and her husband woke up to what they thought was the sound of a roaring river. 

So, they got up and checked.

“We looked out at our front yard and there was a river,” she said. “We looked at our back yard, and it was a river.”

She said the sky was glowing red. Somewhere, a fire had broken out. 

“It was really disturbing,” she said. “We didn't know what to do, so we decided to stay and shelter in place.”

By 4:30 a.m., firefighters came to escort them out of their home; a gas line had ruptured across the street, according to Moe.

The couple returned to devastation. 

“Other people's trees were in our yard,” Moe said. “Our mailbox was gone. Our neighbor's house has a big crack.... Homes were red-tagged.”

Her chicken coop had been swept away. The chickens, however, were perched on rubble Moe said was on top of a vehicle.

Around town, people are learning of the number of people — neighbors — who are missing and injured.

“It feels like this was way worse than the fire,” Moe said.

 
 
Santa Barbara County
JAN. 9, 2018, 6:44 P.M.

'It looked like a World War I battlefield': First-responders faced challenges rescuing residents

Andrea Castillo
 
 
(Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department)(Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies issued mandatory evacuation orders Monday for 7,000 people, and voluntary advisories for 23,000 others.

Though some residents cooperated, many chose to stay in place, said Sheriff Bill Brown. 

Between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., sheriff’s dispatchers handled more than 600 calls from people who were distressed, stranded in their homes or cars and in need of rescue.

When daylight came, mud that was knee-deep or higher made it difficult for rescuers to access many of the affected areas.

“It looked like a World War I battlefield,” Brown said. “It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere with huge boulders, rocks, downed trees, power lines, wrecked cars — lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes, let alone get people out of them.”

At least several dozen homes were damaged or destroyed. Brown said he had declared the mudslide area a rescue zone and asked that onlookers stay away. 

Crews rescued 50 people by air and dozens more by ground, with about 500 firefighters responding from across the state. As of Tuesday afternoon, about 300 people were still waiting to be rescued from Romero Canyon. 

At least 20 people — four of whom were in severe or critical condition — were treated for storm-related injuries, said Dr. Brett Wilson, emergency department director at Cottage Health in Santa Barbara. 

Hospitals were already busy because of the recent surge in flu cases, and about 230 employees couldn’t go to work Tuesday because of road closures due to the storm, said Ron Werft, president and chief executive of Cottage Health.

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