>> Hundreds of rescue workers search through waist-deep mud in Santa Barbara County looking for signs of life. At least eight people are still unaccounted for after mudslides this week caused extensive devastation and death.>> We are saddened the report that the death toll has now risen to 17 with two additional fatalities recovered today.
>> Parts of the upscale hillside community of Montecito where celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres have homes were flattened or crumbled. Oprah posted a video on Instagram Wednesday, walking through deep mud and debris that littered her property. The force of this natural disaster, claiming everything in its path.
When walls of mud triggered by a Tuesday down poor roared through the area. Evacuations in many of the hardest hit areas were either voluntary or not ordered at all. While elsewhere, local officials say they worked for weeks to warn residents and told Reuters, many people didn't comply with orders to leave.
Now, the painstaking search for survivors continues. With crews wading through waist deep wash up, trying to find any signs of life. Some families forced to flee empty handed, returned to find their pets alive. A small comfort in an area which had wildfires scorching a path of destruction.