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While the wildfires are mostly contained, a new threat arrived in Southern California
Heavy rains led to mudslides and flooding the morning of Dec. 9 in the Southern California counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. In the community of Montecito, Ca., located in Santa Barbara county, firefighters rescued at least eight people, and homes were flooded with mudflow. Debris flow caused a gas main to erupt, leading to a fire that destroyed a building.
According to Robbie Monroe of the National Weather Service in Oxnard, Ca., only 0.5 in. of rain per hour is necessary to trigger mudslides. The rate was more than 1.5 in. per hour in some areas, which resulted in dangerous conditions. The threatened counties issued evacuation orders and flash flood advisories in preparation for the downpour, as well as flood control measures such as laying sandbags, wattles and flood barriers.