Firefighters search for trapped people in Montecito, California on 9 January 2018, after mud and debris destroyed buildings following heavy rains. Photo: Mike Eliason

By Max Golembo and Matt Gutman
9 January 2018

(ABC News) – At least six people are dead in California from weather-related incidents, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said today. The southern part of the state has been drenched with severe rain just weeks after several fires tore through the area.

Flash flooding, debris flow and mudslides are punishing the communities hit hard by the Thomas and La Tuna fires.

Because hundreds of thousands of acres were charred in the fires, the influx of water has nowhere to go.

In the affluent community of Montecito, some homes have been ripped from their foundations as a result of the torrential conditions.

Local fire officials reported rescuing several people in the area, including a mother and her daughter who were caked in mud.

The Claffey family in Carpinteria was forced to evacuate its home last month. After moving back in, family members were told to evacuate again because of the rain.

"If our house was flooded it would be devastating. Absolutely devastating," Maureen Claffey told ABC News.

The record rains started coming down on Monday, soaking northern cities like San Francisco and Sacramento. First responders put on skies to help the stranded since many roads and thruways have become raging rivers.

A 14-year-old girl was "trapped for hours" in mud-soaked rubble on Hot Springs Road and then pulled to safety in a triumphant moment. […]

So far, rainfall totals Tuesday morning and early afternoon range from 2 to 4 inches in Ventura, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties. [more]

6 dead after flooding and mudslides force thousands to flee in California



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