Deadly Mudslides Strike in Southern California

Oprah, Rob Lowe among celebrities affected by deadly mudslides in California

Mudslide devastation massive in S. California

The correction came after an early Thursday update that raised the missing to 48 in the mudslides triggered by heavy rains just weeks after major wildfires scorched the area. She was taken away on a stretcher.

Police said the scene "looked like a World War One battlefield".

It is truly devastating to see so many people who undoubtedly suffered through the recent wildfires now have to struggle through record mudslides.

Crews performed at least 50 rescues to save people trapped in vehicles and buildings.

Jennifer Markham, whose home escaped both disasters, said: "We totally thought we were out of the woods".

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NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Rescue operations, including helicopter airlifts, began the day under blue skies in Santa Barbara County just a day after rain poured from gray skies at an unprecedented rate for the area according to the National Weather Service.

Mud slides also wreaked havoc in the Los Angeles area.

Firefighters slogged through mud and debris to reach 14-year-old Laura Cantin in a rescue effort that took almost six hours Tuesday in Santa Barbara County. It includes four individuals from San Diego Fire-Rescue Department: a task force leader, search team manager, logistics manager and two canine search specialists.

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.

Among the damaged properties were historic hotels and the homes of celebrities including television personality Oprah Winfrey and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres in Montecito.

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Coast Guard video captured the dramatic rescue of an entire family including a newborn baby.

The wildfires, including the Thomas Fire, which became the largest in California history, not only burned away trees, grass and shrubs that held soil in place, but also baked a waxy layer into the earth that prevents water from sinking deeply into the ground.

Authorities had reportedly warned residents to evacuate, but fewer than a fifth of those ordered to evacuate before the floods did so.

Evacuation orders have been issued for communities below the burned out Santa Ynez Mountains.

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