A dog was among family members airlifted off the roof of a home after mudslides turned a Southern California community into a disaster zone this week.
Footage from the U.S. Coast Guard shows the canine as it’s plucked from atop a Montecito-area home in the wake of torrential rains that turned scenic hillsides into destructive sludge.
The Coast Guard said a man and a girl were also lifted from the roof of the home on Tuesday. In a separate rescue, a helicopter evacuated eight people and five dogs from the Montecito Golf Course.
At least 17 people have been confirmed dead in the mudslides, which followed early morning flash floods that took Santa Barbara County residents by surprise.
While authorities did not immediately name the victims, Santa Barbara County Fire has confirmed children are among those who lost their lives.
Some families remain caught between hope and despair as they search for loved ones who could potentially still be alive but trapped in debris.
Josie Gower, 69, is missing. Hers was among the 100 or so homes destroyed in Montecito and nearby communities.
While her loved ones made it out, Gower has not been found.
“It’s going to be worse than anyone imagined for our area,” Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason told the Los Angeles Times. “Following our fire, this is the worst-case scenario.”
That fire, of course, was the Thomas fire, which just last month burned more than a quarter million acres. Areas affected by fires are less able to absorb water, which makes flooding worse.
About 20,000 people were told to evacuate.
“It looked like a World War I battlefield,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.