Speed Reads


At least 17 killed, 100 homes destroyed in Montecito mudslides

The death toll from mudslides that swept through several Montecito, California, neighborhoods rose to 17 on Wednesday, with authorities saying children are among the deceased.

The mudslides were caused by heavy rain Tuesday morning that caused boulders and debris to flow from hillsides that were burned during last month's Thomas Fire. Authorities say 100 homes and eight commercial properties have been destroyed, and at least 300 houses have been damaged. In the Romero Canyon neighborhood, authorities believe there are 300 people trapped in their homes who aren't injured but can't leave because the roads are not accessible; helicopters are being used to rescue the residents.

At least 28 people are injured and authorities say 24 are missing, and they expect the death toll to rise again. Some of the homes were lifted off their foundations by the mud and carried nearly a mile before collapsing; Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown described the scene as looking like "a World War I battlefield."