15 dead in California mudslides, at least 24 missing

MONTECITO, Calif. (NBC News) — At least 15 people are dead after a day of deadly mudslides near Santa Barbara.

Rescue crews continue to comb through the community of Montecito, searching for at least two dozen people still missing.

“We had four feet of mud, raging through, counter high through my house,” one survivor said.

More than 100 rescues were carried out after residents failed to heed evacuation warnings.

The mudslides struck in near an area devastated by wildfires earlier this year, triggered when torrential rains poured down on the ash and loose soil left behind by the fires — namely the Thomas Fire.

Now a community better-known as the home of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Rob Lowe is facing its second disaster in a little more than a month.

The area will be largely cut off from the outside world for the time being.

Highway 101 has been closed in Montecito and to the south in Carpinteria where the freeway was inundated by flood waters as well.

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