5 dead in California mudslides, as rain follows forest fires
A fire official says five people have been killed by mudslides that swept Southern California homes from their foundations as a powerful storm drenched recent wildfire burn areas.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department Capt. Dave Zaniboni says the bodies were found in mud and debris during rescue operations Tuesday in Montecito, northwest of Los Angeles.
KEYT-TV showed a body being loaded into a military-style truck on a mud-covered street.
Zaniboni says "multiple" homes were destroyed and residents are unaccounted for in neighbourhoods below hillsides scarred by recent fires.
Crews are clearing debris that closed a section of U.S. 101 along the border of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Evacuation orders were issued Monday as forecasters predicted mudslides in foothill areas where the state's largest-ever fire raged last month.
The first significant storm of the season walloped much of the state with damaging winds and thunderstorms. Record-breaking rain fell on the San Francisco Bay region before the system largely passed overnight, leaving diminishing showers there before dawn Tuesday. Stormy weather continued to the east in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada.
Downtown San Francisco had a record eight centimetres of rain on Monday, smashing the old mark set in 1872 and making it the city's 16th wettest day since 1849, the National Weather Service said.
A winter weather advisory was in place for mountain areas, where officials warned motorists to prepare for difficult travel conditions, including gusty winds, low visibility and snow-covered roads
This is how fast water is flowing from the hills above Burbank. This is a large amount of water, with even more rain expected. If you encounter water like this, do not attempt to cross it or drive through it. pic.twitter.com/MNwriPWGt8— @BurbankPD