Five people are still missing after the mudslides, according to an update on the County of Santa Barbara’s website, which warned people to “anticipate the numbers of missing persons to fluctuate significantly.”
“The large amounts of mud and debris are making access and progress challenging.”
Heavy rain on Tuesday, which followed 10 months of drought, sent sticky mud and debris flowing down the hills into Montecito.
In addition to the dead and injured, 65 homes have been destroyed while another 462 sustained damage.
Terrifying wildfires in the area forced evacuations in December, and the mudslides struck just two weeks after people returned.
The fires burned most vegetation, leaving perfect conditions for the latest disaster to unfold. (AFP)