At least 17 killed, 100 homes destroyed in Montecito mudslides

Debris in front of a Montecito home.
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us