5 Dead, 3+ Homes Wiped Away, Others Trapped After Major Mudslide on US Highway

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January 09, 2018Jan 09, 2018

UPDATE 11:40 a.m. PST: NBC News has just reported that there are at least 5 people dead as a result of the storms and mudslides. However, some positive reports are coming out about rescues from emergency personnel. Below is a clip of responders rescuing a 14-year-old girl.

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UPDATE 10 a.m. PST: ABC News just reported that at least two people have died from the weather-related accidents. Please continue praying for those who are trapped and for emergency personnel. 

ORIGINAL STORY: On early Tuesday morning, an extreme storm took place in Southern California. Parts of the US Route 101 had to be shut down after heavy rains hit Santa Barbara County and caused a mudslide. Because of recent wildfires and the charred land, the heavy rain caused the debris to slide from the hills.

According to NBC News, the fire officials conducted "multiple rescues" in Montecito after the floods and debris swept through the freeway. The 101 Freeway was shut down, as well as all major roads that are connected to it. Additionally, at least 20,000 people are under evacuation orders.

Reportedly, at least three homes were destroyed by the storm. All of the homes were located on the 300 block of Hot Springs Road. According to Ventura CHP, one house caught on fire due to a gas leak caused by the storm. 

At least two men, one woman, and one dog had to be rescued from their homes by emergency personnel. The emergency radio traffic personnel indicated that there were multiple other reports of people trapped inside of structures and vehicles. 

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The Santa Barbara County officials urged citizens to find immediate shelter and get to high ground if they were within the mandatory or voluntary evacuation locations. 

The county said, "Take protective actions to stay safe which may include sheltering-in-place or seeking high ground, avoiding power lines and trees, staying off roads and highways, and do not attempt to leave and drive across flowing water or mud."

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Another report emerged of a large natural gas fire in a surrounding area, as well as a natural gas explosion on Via Manana. Reportedly, a Coast Guard helicopter had to evacuate two patients who had suffered extreme burns from the explosion. So far, no other details have been given about those two fires. 

As of 9 a.m. PST, rescue attempts are still underway for multiple people trapped in homes and vehicles. We will continue to update as more information is released. 

Please be praying for safety for first responders and emergency personnel. Additionally, pray for those who are trapped in their homes and vehicles. Share your prayers here! In other recent news, an iconic actor who was in 160+ shows and movies just passed away after battling cancer.

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