All Weather News

17 Dead, Many Missing After Devastating California Floods

Catastrophic floods and mudslides Tuesday morning are to blame for at least 17 fatalities in Montecito, California.

A powerful winter storm delivered heavy rain in a short period of time which led to flooding and debris flows through parts of Montecito and surrounding Santa Barbara and Carpenteria areas.

According to NOAA/ National Weather Service out of Los Angeles, Montecito received an impressive 0.54 inches of rain within a period of five minutes.

Mud and debris flows have destroyed homes and trapped hundreds in Santa Barbara County.

As of Wednesday evening, local authorities have confirmed at least 17 fatalities and 13 missing– where law enforcement say there is still an active search and rescue operation in progress.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff declared a Public Safety Exclusion Zone in areas hard hit to allow rescue workers to continue with search and rescue operations.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 400 homes have been damaged or destroyed and an additional 1,500 homes are threatened.

Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for parts of Santa Barbara County, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria. There is an evacuation center located at Santa Barbara City College Campus Gymnasium in Santa Barbara.

More than 6,000 customers were without power Wednesday morning.

Debris flows over major roadways will lead to delays through the remainder of the week.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Nick Merianos

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