Death toll climbs to 18 in massive Montecito mudslide

Santa Barbara County said that So Cal Gas will be releasing natural gas at Coyote Road and East Mountain Drive in Montecito anytime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Crews are working to fix ruptured gas lines.

"They were in a voluntary evacuation area so they figured they were OK", said Weimer, who has been frantically searching for her parents for more than a day.

Ellen DeGeneres facetimed friend and neighbor Oprah during The Ellen Show this week to discuss the deadly California mudslides. "We're affected here in Carpinteria in the sense that we're taking these people in and a lot of people are out of work because they can't travel". "It's filled with a lot of different types of people form all backgrounds and there are families missing".

"I am blessed and I am going to do whatever I can for the rest of the community", Winfrey said, "and we all just love the firefighters".

"While every hour it remains less likely we'll find anyone alive, there remains hope", he said at a news conference.

Numerous mountainous areas along the coast are at 80 to 100 percent of developing another mudslide.

"I have lived here my whole life", said Melissa Ausanka-Crues, 29, a nurse.

"But realistically we suspect that we are going to continue to have discovery of people who were killed in this incident".

Just weeks after suffering the Thomas Fire, the state's largest-ever wildfire, torrential rain struck Southern California on Tuesday, causing flash flooding and mudslides which swept away dozens of homes and cars. "I understand that no one really understands what's going on, but it's been really hard being here", resident Anais Berman said.

Winfrey, fresh off a Golden Globes speech that inspired calls for her to run for president, posted Instagram photos of the shin-deep mud in her yard and video of rescue helicopters flying overhead.

Though they were unclear of the exact number of fatalities at the time, it has been confirmed that 17 people have perished as a result of the mudslides. "You hear the word mudslides and you have no idea the impact that it has". All of my neighbors' homes are gutted ...

Experts say it is important for emergency management officials to warn as many people as people about potential threats, but disasters can change course in an instant.

"The dogs were barking, I wake up and I can't believe that the sky seems like it's on fire", Oprah explained. And I'm trying to weave the vehicle in, you know, two feet of mud to get back in the driveway and down the street.

"But we're going to do what we do. That is why we have the canines to help us assist in those efforts to either sniff out or guide us to areas potentially that could have other people that need assistance and rescue". "We're gonna come together and we're gonna do what great Americans do all the time and we're gonna help each other".

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