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Storms Trigger Mudslides in Calif. Burn Areas, Kill 2

Storms Trigger Mudslides in Calif. Burn Areas, Kill 2

She had been trapped in the home for hours before rescuers came to her aid, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department said on Twitter.

At least two people died and thousands fled their homes in Southern California on Tuesday as a powerful rainstorm triggered flash floods and mudslides on slopes where a series of intense wildfires had burned off protective vegetation last month. It was hard to hear as the rain continued to fall, they said, but they pinpointed the area where the noise emanated and began to dig.

Photos posted by the local fire department showed a teenager covered in black mud being led away from the rubble of a house that was destroyed by the mudslide in Montecito. She says "multiple" residents have been rescued and more are calling for help in Montecito and Carpinteria.

Parts of California highways 33, 150 and 192 in the Ojai and Santa Barbara areas also are closed.

A fire truck drives through the wildfire damaged Coffey Park neighborhood as rain water pools where a home once stood, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Santa Rosa, Calif.

. Eventually he heard a loud swish and banging on the exterior of his house.

His own house was "surrounded by mud", and a washing machine had drifted into his front yard, he said.

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"Seems calm now. We feel safe".

At least four people were rescued earlier from damaging mud and debris flows that swept through Montecito overnight, rupturing a gas line and closing part of the 101 Freeway and other California roads.

The rainfall rate of more than 1.5 inches per hour in parts of Southern California overwhelmed the landscape.

Already on Monday, San Francisco saw nearly 2 inches of rain through the afternoon, making it the wettest calendar day since December 11, 2014, according to The Weather Channel.

The downpour is overpowering a terrain especially vulnerable in the wake of recent fires.

The Thomas fire burned almost 282,000 acres in December in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, stripping hillsides of vegetation needed to stem water runoff during rainstorms. It was 92% contained Tuesday, and officials don't expect full containment until later this month.

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"Everyone in Carpinteria got to watch the hillsides burn together", Gold said.

Mudslides are not uncommon to the area and can be deadly.

The pain-staking rescues were done as more than 1,600 people in Santa Barbara County lost power, reported NBC affiliate KSBY.

Knowing this week's rains likely were trouble, officials ordered evacuations for thousands of people ahead of time.

Voluntary evacuation warnings were in effect for another 20,000 people, including others in those same communities, she said. Both say their community is small, but also grew closer.

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