At least 13 people were killed and 25 were injured in Santa Barbara County as Southern California's first winter storm swept through the region on Tuesday. The heavy rains triggered mudslides that swept several homes from their foundations.
Santa Barbara County Officials said at an afternoon news conference that about 7,000 people live in the mandatory evacuation zone, and about 23,000 people live in the voluntary evacuation zone. Officials could not confirm where in the county the deaths and injuries had occurred, nor how many people remained missing. However, at least six people were killed in the Montecito area, Santa Barbara County fire officials said earlier in the day.
The first confirmed death was Roy Rohter, a former real estate broker who founded St. Augustine Academy in Ventura. The Catholic school's headmaster, Michael Van Hecke, announced the death and said Rohter's wife was injured by the mudslide.
First responders were aware of approximately 300 people trapped in Romero Canyon, according to officials.
Residents were unaccounted for in neighborhoods hard to reach because of downed trees and power lines, Santa Barbara County Fire Department Capt. Dave Zaniboni told the Associated Press, which reported that there was a "backlog of scores of callers requesting help."