A mudslide shut down the 101 Freeway in Montecito, California, on Tuesday morning as heavy winter rains hit the region devastated by the recent Thomas fire.
#BREAKING: Mudslide shuts down the 101 in Montecito. People asking to be rescued from vehicles who are trapped in water. Reports of homeowners trapped by rising water around their homes. Multiple homes on fire bc of a gas line break. @NBCLA photo cred: @_FabRamirez pic.twitter.com/9THfBqAiOA
— Daniella Guzman (@DaniellaNBCLA) January 9, 2018
Rain began early Monday and is expected to continue on Tuesday, drenching areas below mountains and hills that have been denuded of vegetation that normally prevents soil erosion, and creating a high risk for debris flows.
Thousands were evacuated on Monday from communities below fire-ravaged slopes, and the first signs of damage hit Montecito hard.
— Fabiola Ramirez (@_FabRamirez) January 9, 2018
— Joe Buttitta (@KEYTNC3Joe) January 9, 2018
Flash flood / massive amounts of mud swept thru #montecito oaks neighborhood. Mud buckling doors trying to get in house. People on roofs. Power out. Power lines down all over #mudslide pic.twitter.com/1SvgOpqBTw
— Benjamin Hyatt (@caffeineben) January 9, 2018
#CAstorm-Heavy rains have triggered massive runoff in the Montecito area. Multiple rescues from vehicles and structures are underway. Access is difficult/delayed due to-at some locations-waist deep mudflow, trees, and wires down. Avoid the area.
— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) January 9, 2018
Gas line on fire in Montecito pic.twitter.com/baYSCxC4KM
— Tony Miller (@TonyMiller_SB) January 9, 2018
Ominous statement from @NWSLosAngeles: “Numerous reports of #flooding and debris flows from Montecito, La Conchita and into the Thomas burn area. Several highways and roadways have been shutdown.” Interactive radar: https://t.co/vZvg2BCaFy #cawx pic.twitter.com/YF42yOcxlA
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) January 9, 2018
“Montecito” was trending on Twitter Tuesday morning — not just in California, but across the United States, as Americans woke up to the news.
Many celebrities have homes in Montecito — including new 2020 Democratic Party presidential prospect Oprah Winfrey.
The Thomas fire set the record for the largest fire in state history. Though the 2017-18 winter has been dry thus far, the ongoing storm has hit the whole state hard, marking San Francisco’s rainiest day since 2014, with 1.84 inches of precipitation, according to SFGate.com.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.