“It Looked Like A Battlefield” – Photos Show California Mudslides’ Devastating Aftermath

by | Jan 10, 2018 | Headline News | 19 comments

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    This report was originally published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge


    California just can’t catch a break.

    After wildfires – including the largest blaze in California history – tore through Southern California last month, causing billions of dollars in property damage, heavy rains triggered mudslides in some of the areas hardest-hit by the fires – including Montecito in Santa Barbara county, where the most deaths were reported.

    The storm may be over, but the hunt for survivors isn’t. So far, 13 people have been confirmed dead, while 25 more were injured and another 50 had to be rescued. But those numbers could rise as the search is deepened and expanded Wednesday, with a major search-and-rescue team arriving from nearby Los Angeles County and help from the Coast Guard and National Guard along with law enforcement, according to the Associated Press.

    And as the search for victims ramps up, more photos over the devastation wrought by the mudslides are beginning to emerge.

    The mudslides took thousands of Californians by surprise.It was unleashed in the dead of night by flash flooding in the steep, fire-scarred Santa Ynez Mountains. As the AP explains, scorched areas are especially susceptible to destructive mudslides because the earth doesn’t absorb water well and the land is easily eroded when there’s no vegetation.

    Montecito was burned by the Thomas Fire, which erupted Dec. 4 and became the largest ever recorded in California. It eventually spread to more than 440 square miles (1,140 square kilometers) and destroyed 1,063 buildings and homes. It continues to burn deep in the wilderness.


    Some witnesses likened the sound of the mud to a freight train or an earthquake as the torrent arrived suddenly, carrying rocks and trees as it washed away cars and trashed homes.

    Video shows rescue workers saving a man whose car was washed away in the mudslides.


    Thomas Tighe said he stepped outside his Montecito home in the middle of the night and heard “a deep rumbling, an ominous sound I knew was … boulders moving as the mud was rising.”

    Rescue personnel in Santa Barbara County early on Wednesday morning continued searching for victims where mudslides slammed into homes, covered highways and swept away vehicles early on Tuesday when more than a half-inch (1.5 cm) of rain fell in five minutes, a rate that far exceeds the normal flash flood threshold.


    Video and images of the 101 Freeway showed the road completely covered in mud. The road between Montecito and Santa Barbara will remain closed for at least 48 hours, according to Capt. Cindy Pontes of the California Highway Patrol.


    Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told CNN that the mudslides “looked like a World War I battlefield.”

    “It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere, with huge boulders, rocks, downed trees, power lines, wrecked cars, lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes, let alone to get people out of them,” Brown said. More than 500 firefighters were assisting with the rescue effort in Santa Barbara alone.


    In Burbank, a dozen firefighters sheltered in place after being trapped by mud and debris in Burbank.

    But as the storm passed Wednesday morning, a rainbow appeared over Santa Barbara County…


    …Proving once again that mother nature does have a sense of humor.


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      1. Now… who would’ve thought that such an environmentally-conscious State like California wouldn’t understand that water and ash/dirt make mud? Add in the constant agitation of that soil by the evermore frequent quakes, building in zones unfit for housing and roads, an influx of ignorant populace that have no sense that fires can be caused by open flame…….. Naw, you got it all figured out don’t you Gov. Brown. Too bad you weren’t on the 101 Freeway when gravity took over.

      2. i don’t know that us calipornians DESERVE a break?

      3. Blue state. They vote me into tax slavery. Nothing to see here.

      4. Why I wear shoes with heavy traction lugs in the soles. You just never know what you may get into out here.

        • gotta love them combat boots with vibram(waffle stomper) soles….invented over 40 years ago, and still the best.

      5. California just can’t catch a break.
        They don’t deserve a break. They are paying for all of their faults. No pun intended.


      6. a break? maybe when they quit builting multimilliondollar homes in fire prone areas, then bitch when the denuded hillside slides onto the highway.

        They already get a break, in the form of an insurance payout… yet my rates get inflated.

        So WHO needs a break..?

        • Apparently, insurance companies are fleeing CA, just like most of them have fled FL. Can’t charge high enough premiums to insure against the natural (and man made) hazards.
          They’re either cancelling or refusing to renew policies.

          Tip: Find a better place to live. Is the great weather (most of the time) worth it?

      7. California has been hit by ridiculous housing prices and rents. I wonder what they will be like after the fires and mudslides have reduced the housing supply. I’ve heard that there are people making in the six figures who are sleeping in trailers. The “Golden State” is rapidly becoming the “Mud State”. (Yeah, some of you would say something other than mud.)

      8. give California to China and we’ll call it even.

      9. Mud slides? I thought it was more about the flu epidemic.

      10. The Worst Coast:

        Surfing for breakfast.

        Skiing for lunch.

        Mudslide for dinner.

        Earthquake to shake it into the night.

        What’s not to like.

        Got down to 48 F last night, currently 65 F……..brrrrr.

        Oops…look at the time….gotta get ready for some whale watching before gun class (off hand obstacle course, low light) and bonfire on the beach.

        Best of all:

        This is a target rich environment. Can’t swing a dead cat without triggering some snowflake…SWEET !!!

        Be safe….I’m the “glass is way full kinda guy”…lol…BA.

      11. Can you say “mudflake?”

      12. It’s a libtard apocalypse.

      13. fags and mexicans let em have it.

      14. Just watched a segment on the news on California Mud Slides. Whenever they showed footage from the air it was apparent the houses swept away have been built in dry riverbeds.

        Who the hell is that stupid, to either build or buy a house that’s sitting in a dry riverbed, in a desert?

      15. How long ago was it when we thought “the big one” would cause California to break off and fall into the sea? Seems more like it will simply slide off. 😛

        I do feel sorry caught in this mess. It doesn’t seem like very many areas are good to build a house in out there.

      16. If you don’t like the influenza and natural disasters, leave California and move to Houston or Florida or to Puerto Rico. The way things are going, by next August we will be looking at 2017 as the “good old days”.

      17. Nobody built in dry river beds. However, there are arroyos galore below those hills; 2″ of rain in less than 2 hrs was a recipe for disaster given the recently burned out hills. It was an unprecedented event locally, so many remained in their homes.
        And, rainy season has really just begun

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