There were mixed reports about how many were still missing, with the number jumping from 17 to 48, according to Associated Press.
In an interview with CBS on Wednesday morning, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said officials are continuing to work to identify and rescue those who are trapped in areas they haven't been able to reach yet. It's less than 10,000 people, it has two public schools, family-owned businesses. But it also encompasses those who have been named in calls to the operations center and family assistance center.
"I told her to stay on the second floor but she went downstairs and opened the door and just got swept away", her son, Hayden Gower, told NBC affiliate KSBY.
The mudslides destroyed about 100 homes and injured 28 people.
Rebecca Riskin, a 61-year-old retired professional ballerina, founder of Riskin Partners real estate firm and almost 30-year Montecito resident and businesswoman, died in Montecito as a result of the flooding and mudslides in the area, the firm confirmed in a Facebook post and statement.
The devastating mudslides, which were triggered by heavy rains early on Tuesday, roared into valleys denuded by historic wildfires that struck the area last month.
One of the victims was David Cantin, the father of a 14-year-old girl who was heavily caked in mud when she was pulled from the ruins of her home after a dramatic six-hour rescue.
NeoTract, a maker of devices used in the medical field of urology, has launched a fundraising page asking for financial support for the family of Kim Cantin.
DeGeneres posted a picture on Twitter of herself standing in mud next to a downed tree near her home.
The death toll from southern California's catastrophic mudslides has risen to 17, with United States authorities warning the number is expected to increase.
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Rebecca Riskin, the 61-year-old founder of a real estate firm, was also killed in Montecito, according to the company and local news media. Her company confirms her death in a statement posted Wednesday night on Facebook.
"It came down so fast; it took people out", said Goldberg, who evacuated anyway with his wife and two children.
A bevy of trucks from Southern California Edison were working at what was once a small, triangular-shaped park across the way from the retirement community.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department firefighters respond to mud and debris flow due to heavy rain in Montecito.
Another emergency management official told the Los Angeles Times that county officials decided not to use the its push alert system to cellphones earlier out of concern that it might not be taken seriously.
Mandatory evacuation orders issued Sunday had focused on foothill communities home to about 7,000 people above Montecito, areas closer to where the Thomas fire had burned.
With the wildfires leaving behind a waxy layer of debris that made it hard for water to infiltrate the ground, the downpour caused flash floods in the fire-scarred Santa Ynez Mountains.
Gater said that although research by the county and by federal experts suggested mudflows were likely to result from the storm, officials didn't think they would go as far south as they did.
More than two full days after mudslides ravaged the coastal town of Montecito, the search for the missing became an increasingly desperate exercise Thursday, with growing doubts about whether anyone would be found alive. Rescues were partly reflected in the tally of missing, which was revised to eight from 17 on Thursday morning.