Moments of terror in Thomas fire zone as powerful rains send the earth moving

Michael Livingston and Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

"We just had a deluge, a power surge of rain. And we had a report of a structure fire burning in the Montecito area, the San Ysidro area. And it just kept going downhill from there," Hoover said Tuesday morning. "We have people stuck in their homes, stuck in their cars. There's downed power lines, flooded roadways, debris."

By daybreak, 30 miles of the 101 Freeway were closed because of mud flows.

"There's no way to get from Ventura here, no way for us to get south," Hoover said. "We're encouraging people to stay off the roads if they're in an evacuation area."

Hoover said dispatchers were being flooded with calls for help.

By 8:30 a.m., 50 calls were pending, she said.

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Authorities have tapped rescue helicopters with hoist-capabilities from the U.S. Coast Guard to help carry people out. Rescuers are working to save people from their homes and cars, she said.

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