A powerful storm unleashed destruction in Montecito, Santa Barbara, on Tuesday.
At least 18 people have died from massive mudslides in a wealthy Southern California region, according to local authorities.
A heavy storm on Tuesday triggered flash floods and unleashed debris in Montecito, Santa Barbara, around 2:30 a.m. local time, the LA Times reported.
As Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters on Tuesday night: “The best way I can describe it is it looked like a World War One battlefield.”
Rescue crews with dogs and scanners were still looking for at least 5 people missing on Friday, Reuters reported. One hundred single-family homes were also destroyed and hundreds of other buildings were reportedly damaged.
“We've got a window that's closing, but we're still very optimistic,” Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said. “There's been plenty of cases where they've found people a week after.”
Take a look at the harrowing scenes below.
A heavy storm in the region triggered flash floods and unleashed debris. The region was especially vulnerable after a series of wildfires. This smashed car on Montecito's Hot Springs Road, is a small part of of the destruction in the area.
Trees were torn from their roots, houses and cars were destroyed, and people were covered in mud as debris surged down empty streets. This woman was caught up in the chaos, and had to be rescued from a collapsed house.
As of Wednesday, at least 28 people were injured because of the storm.
A damaged house is surrounded by large boulders and debris.
Firefighters dug through mud searching for bodies.
Family members inspect a home covered in mud.
Here, a search dog looks for victims inside a damaged house.
People's cars got smashed in by fallen trees, which were knocked in the wind and mud flows.
Rescue workers search in and around cars for missing persons.
Debris flowed into car parks. The car on the left, covered in debris, is floating on a mixture of mud and water.
Some cars were left floating along flooded freeways, while emergency services did their best to get to affected areas.
This sunken area of road was totally filled with mud and, making it impossible to pass.
The Union Pacific Railroad — which operates routes from Chicago to New Orleans — was also blocked by mud.
Train tracks between Santa Barbara and Oxnard, a city west of Los Angeles, were closed, Amtrak's Southern California service tweeted on Tuesday night.
Locals did their best to get around despite all the obstacles.
Oprah Winfrey, who owns a house in Montecito, shared footage of the mud and helicopter rescuers.
Celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Rob Lowe and Patrick Stewart also live in the wealthy Santa Barbara area.