Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Bridges among those affected by mudslides

Oprah Winfrey's home damaged by deadly California mudslides

After wildfires, California is facing heavy rains and mudslides

On Wednesday, dogs helped crews rescue 10 stranded residents, Anderson said.

Last month's spate of wildfires, including the largest in California history, burned away grass and shrubs that held soil in place, and baked a waxy layer into the earth that prevents water from sinking deeply into the ground.

Controversy continues to brew over whether or not residents living in the areas hit hardest by the recent mudslides in Montecito were properly warned by Santa Barbara County officials.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who has been touted this week as a possible 2020 candidate for the White House, was among those affected by the mudslides. With nowhere to go, they crawled out of a window to reach the roof, he said.

The girl, coated head to foot in mud, was led by firefighters from a pile of wood and debris that was once a house, a photo from Santa Barbara County Fire Department showed.

More than 3 inches of rain fell in parts of Santa Barbara during Tuesday's downpour, but it was the speed of the rainfall that caused mudslides, according to the National Weather Service.

In December, California Governor Jerry Brown said the state was "facing a new reality" as climate change meant wildfires could erupt "every year or every few years".

Television mogul Oprah Winfrey's home survived the rainstorm and ensuring mudslides.

At least 17 people have been killed in the mudslides and authorities are fearing that number could rise as responders search for more victims.

"Deadly runoff of mud, boulders, and debris destroyed homes that lined Montecito Creek near East Valley Road", Eliason wrote on Twitter.

U.S. Highway 101, the link connecting Ventura and Santa Barbara, looked like a muddy river and was expected to be closed for two days.

A home is surrounded by mud and debris caused by a massive mudslide in Montecito, California. She was pulled from a collapsed Montecito home where she had been trapped for hours.

The disaster followed a violent rainstorm that dumped up to 15cm of water onto areas north-west of Los Angeles.

Pontes said there was a water main break Tuesday at Olive Mill Road that flooded the freeway and water and debris is still coming down onto 101.

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

Most of the devastation has occurred in and around Montecito, a wealthy enclave of about 9,000 people northwest of Los Angeles that is home to such celebrities as Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Ellen DeGeneres.

One such resident, Marco Farrell, 45, called the slide more frightening than the "biggest, scariest, horrifying monster you've ever dreamed of".

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