Death toll from California mudslides climbs to 18

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Officials said secondary searches of damaged structures were under way.

The walls of fast-moving mud and debris that tore through hillside communities before dawn on Tuesday took the lives of three children, at least one married couple and two people in their 80s, officials said in releasing the names of the dead.

The destruction covered 30 square miles and more than 2,100 personnel from local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the US Navy and the American Red Cross are involved in "challenging" search, recovery and relief efforts, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

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

It could include everything from urgent, active missing-persons cases being worked by detectives to calls received from acquaintances saying they hadn't been able to reach someone they believe was in Montecito on Tuesday morning when mudslides swept through town and killed 17 people. Theresa was rescued and said to be in stable condition, but Roy did not survive.

A huge amount of rain fell in a matter of minutes on hills and mountain slopes scorched by last month's massive California wildfire.

Bulldozers have been used to clear roads of tangled trees, muck and boulders as trucks hauled off floodwaters siphoned off US Highway 101, the crippled coastal route connecting Santa Barbara to Ventura.

The deluge came after Santa Barbara was subjected to some of the worst wildfires in California's history.

A factor contributing to the disaster was the suite of wildfires that hit the region, rendering the soil unable to absorb the deluge that hit the region during the most recent winter storm.

Weather is good, but forecasters say there's a slight chance of light rain by next Friday. Similar amounts were reported across that county.

Rescue crews worked up to 12 hours a day and risked stepping on nails or shattered glass, or being exposed to raw sewage, or dealing with leaking gas, Page said.

Anderson says there are reports of injuries, but she didn't immediately know how many or the extent. "Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara". One rain gauge recorded nearly an inch in less than 15 minutes.

Traffic accidents have slowed the Tuesday morning commute to a crawl across the region, including along coastal USA 101 in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

DeGeneres detailed the mandatory evacuations that she and wife Portia de Rossi undertook during both the fires and the mudslides, noting that families of all backgrounds were, and continue to be, affected.

Forecasters issued flash flood warnings and predicted the cold front with powerful winds could bring several inches of rain.