Late Saturday massive storms struck California making mud and water rush down the hillsides to wildfire burn areas and authorities issued a warning flash flood may follow in southern region.
At lower elevations 4 inches of rain was measured and the mountains with several feet of snow. Key highways were shut.
The storm picked up speed of up to 80 mph in the Santa Barbara County knocking down power lines and trees across the region. The mud carried these into the lanes. Officials closed several roadways and Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, which was earlier hit by wildfire that destroyed homes and burned hillsides.
Later, California Department of Transportation tweeted vital route connecting Los Angeles and points north and west, the northbound southbound lanes of US 101, was cleared and reopened.
Several miles of US 101, the Montecito area of Santa Barbara County, were closed too due to flooding.
Amid evacuation order in several parts of the county the National Weather Service said high rates of rain could send boulders from hillsides along with debris and mud.
Meanwhile, rescue team tried to help motorists stuck on the roads and drivers were urged to find alternate routes.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said, “Turn around. Driving through is going to be a costly error in judgment… It’s just not worth it.”
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