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Search Continues For Hundreds After Mudslides In Southern California

Search Continues For Hundreds After Mudslides In Southern California

Rescue crews worked to clear debris from roads across greater Los Angeles, including a key stretch of USA 101 that was brought to a standstill along the border of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

A group of 300 people is stuck in Romero Canyon east of Santa Barbara.

Footage showed a fire caused by a gas leak in the downpour as well as Winfrey's mud covered backyard, which she waded through in rain boots, People noted.

Josie Gower held onto a door frame when a devastating river of mud rushed inside her Montecito home.

The body count as of Wednesday was 15, with 25 reported injured and 50 having to be rescued.

As their names and those of 14 other victims were released Thursday, crews kept digging through the muck and rubble looking for more people.

Hundreds of calls: As the storm hit hard between 3 and 6 a.m. Tuesday, sheriff's office dispatchers handled more than 600 phone calls for assistance, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. Numerous homes that have been destroyed or heavily damaged are in areas that are now inaccessible.

"It was very stunning to see the extent of the devastation, to see the breadth of the area impacted by this", Brown said.

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"It's just waiting and not knowing, and the more I haven't heard from them - we have to find them", said Kelly Weimer, whose elderly parents' home was wrecked by the torrent of mud in a coastal town in Santa Barbara.

DeGeneres also wrote on Twitter, "I've love being part of the Montecito community". On Thursday morning, a spokesperson reported that 48 people were missing, but that number was wrong and due to a clerical error, according to the Associated Press.

Neighborhoods were littered with uprooted trees and downed power lines, and front yards in homes filled with mud were strewn with boulders.

"This entire area is a very active rescue and recovery and fix zone right now", he said. Amber Anderson, a spokeswoman for the recovery effort, says their top priority is reaching those people, getting them to safety and finding the people who are still missing.

"I was packing my bags - it took all of five minutes - and when I was done packing my bag, the street was completed flooded", said Sean Johnston, a Burbank Resident.

"The house is destroyed, but you know, there's just so many others who are less fortunate".

The Thomas fire scorched much of the region last month in what was the largest wildfire ever recorded in California.