Firefighters Rescue Girl, 14, From Home Destroyed in Tragic California Mudslides
A teenage girl was pulled from the brink of death following Tuesday's tragic flooding and mudslides in Southern California.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department posted a photo of the moment the 14-year-old emerged from the wreckage of her demolished Montecito home, where she had spent hours awaiting rescue.
First responders in the area were overwhelmed following intense rains that left numerous people trapped inside homes and vehicles and more than a dozen dead.
Roads were closed and thousands of people were evacuated across the region as devastating rains turned into rivers of mud that inundated roadways and leveled homes.
"It’s going to be worse than anyone imagined for our area," Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason told the Los Angeles Times. "Following our fire, this is the worst-case scenario."
That fire, of course, was the Thomas fire, which just last month burned more than a quarter million acres. Areas affected by fires of less able to absorb water, which makes flooding worse.
About 20,000 people have been ordered to evacuate and at least 50 people have been rescued by helicopters in the area, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.
"It looked like a World War I battlefield," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.