After wildfires, California is facing heavy rains and mudslides

California Storms

Drivers should avoid non-essential travel and use I-5 as an alternate route, Caltrans said.

"The National Weather Service has issued A FLASH FLOOD WARNING for the Thomas Fire & Whittier Fire burn areas (along the Santa Barbara County south coast)", the website said.

Santa Barbara County spokesman Amber Anderson says Wednesday that officials have no idea where the missing people may be but believe they are within the debris field.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department previously reported that numerous people were trapped in their homes or cars by the mudslides.

Mud and debris from Southern California's wildfire-scarred hillsides flowed through neighborhoods and onto a highway Tuesday during a rainstorm, killing six people and sweeping homes from their foundations.

Officials say Highway 121 between Wild Horse Valley Road and Wooden Valley Road remains closed.

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The rain hit Santa Barbara and Ventura counties-which were ravaged by the large, deadly Thomas Fire last month-particularly hard.

Lowe also posted prayers for mudslide survivors on Twitter after earlier chastising the media for focusing on Winfrey's presidential prospects in 2020 even as residents and rescuers searched for survivors in her neighborhood.

Fox News reports that mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for over 21,000 residents, and CNN adds that mudflow has already "wiped away" three homes near Montecito in Santa Barbara County with rescues ongoing from surrounding structures and vehicles that now sit in precarious positions. The search for victims is not.

At least 13 people have been dead and several injured amid mudslides and heavy rain, which triggered flooding, in southern California.

Thousands of people who live in the area have left, and more than 50 rescues have been carried out, including that of a 14-year-old girl.

In Montecito, Oprah Winfrey shared Instagram photos of the deep mud in her backyard and rescue helicopters flying overhead.

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