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Search continues for eight missing after California mudslides

Los Angeles (APP):Authorities in California were still searching Thursday for eight people missing following powerful mudslides which killed 17 in southern California, destroying homes in a region already pummeled by massive wildfires.
Heavy rain on Tuesday, which followed 10 months of drought, sent sticky mud and debris flowing from the hills into Montecito and other towns in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles.
Authorities corrected the number of people missing to eight from 13 reported Wednesday.
“It was a scary night,” local resident Jane Barret told AFP. One of her doctors, the leader of her sons’ scout group and an old neighbor are among the dead.
She added “it will take a lot of time” to get over the natural disasters that have struck the area over the past two months.
Terrifying wildfires forced people to evacuate in December — with the mudslides striking just two weeks after they returned.
The fires burned most vegetation, leaving perfect conditions for the latest tragedy to unfold.
The highest rainfall was recorded at five inches (13 centimeters) in Ventura County, according to the National Weather Service — but forecasts for the next week do not predict rain.
Residents were rescued by helicopter from the roofs of their homes — with some later returning to recover valuable belongings and pets.
Shocked by the damage, they took photos of their now-destroyed houses, with many describing the storm as similar to a stampede or an out-of-control train.
Greg Duimovich told AFP his house had “never” shaken so much from a rainstorm.
With clean-up operations underway, workers were battling the viscous mud on the streets of Montecito Thursday — while in other areas efforts continued to restore power.
Meanwhile, more than 50 kilometers (35 miles) of the 101 Freeway, which connects northern California to the south, remained blocked by mud.
Television presenter Oprah Winfrey — who this week was the subject of rumors of a presidential run — was also among those affected.
She took to social media to post a video which show mud rising up to her knees at her Montecito mansion, where presenter Ellen DeGeneres also owns a home.