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 were under evacuation orders.
The storm caused a plethora of issues including mudslides, fires, explosions, and traps. As of Tuesday afternoon, the death toll from the incident was up to 5. Now, on Wednesday morning, it has risen to 15.
According to CNN, hundreds of people are still waiting to be rescued. They are currently cut off by the debris from the mudslide in one particular neighborhood. They reported that up to 300 people are trapped in Montecito in the Romero Canyon area.
On Tuesday night, Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Yaneris Muniz said, "We can't get to them, and they can't get to us... Once we have daybreak, you will see helicopters start rescuing people there."
Along with the deaths and injuries caused by the storm, several homes were destroyed as well. The early stages of the storm "wiped away" three homes, and now dozens of others have been affected as well.
One home that was negatively impacted by the mudslides was Oprah Winfrey's. She posted photos of the damage on her Instagram account.
She said, "What a day! Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara. Woke up to this blazing gas fire. Then wipe left to see how deep the mud is in my backyard. Helicopters rescuing my neighbors. Looking for missing persons. 13 lives lost. #Mudslides."
We will continue to update here as more information is released. Please be praying for the hundreds of people who are still awaiting rescue, and pray for those who have lost loved ones in this natural disaster. In other breaking news, a famous model and actress from the '60s and Cary Grant's love interest just passed away.