Footage shows mud and debris barreling through California home

Mudslide victims School founder real estate broker remembered

"I live there, Oprah lives there. 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.

O'Dea, originally from St. John's, was jailed as a young man for drug smuggling, but is now an author, film and television producer. But with gas and power expected to be shut off Saturday, she said she would heed the order to leave.

"We were expecting rain this week and usually we're grateful for rain, especially in California, but not after the largest fire in the history of California", she said.

Rescuers frantically combed the mountains of mud, wreckage and boulders which landed on top of the affluent seaside community on Wednesday. I mean, it was apocalyptic.

Two cars were missing from his driveway, and he watched two others slowly move sideways down the middle of the street in a river of mud. "It was like somebody had brought a chainsaw and started chopping down trees". "Just gone. So it is as devastating as it can be".

Winfrey, fresh off a Golden Globes speech that inspired calls for her to run for president, posted Instagram photos of the shin-deep mud in her yard and video of rescue helicopters flying overhead. The challenges are mounting for first responders. With no vegetation left to absorb the rain, the slides came quickly amid a torrential downpour.

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The walls of fast-moving mud and debris that tore through hillside communities before dawn on Tuesday took the lives of three children, at least one married couple and two people in their 80s, officials said in releasing the names of the dead. 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".

On Jan. 9 at about 2 a.m. the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office sent out an alert to immediately evacuate the Montecito area.

On Thursday, the number provided by authorities went from 48, down to eight, then back up to 43.

The seven missing - whose ages range from two to 62 - include Fabiola Benitez, the mother of Jonathan Benitez, a 10-year-old killed in the flooding.

Anderson says the number dropped because people were located, but it could continue to fluctuate greatly.

Mr Johnson told the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper that the pair joined a fireman to dig the toddler out, before scooping mud out of her mouth. Theresa was rescued and said to be in stable condition, but Roy did not survive.

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