Brown did say that of the 17 people he announced were missing Wednesday, some were identified as among the dead and were crossed off the list. Gower was at home with her boyfriend early Tuesday when a mudslide swept through the neighborhood. On Thursday morning, a spokesperson reported that 48 people were missing, but that number was wrong and due to a clerical error, according to the Associated Press.
Police said the scene "looked like a World War One battlefield".
"Had we still had all the vegetation on the hills it would not have been as much of an issue", Targonia said.
"Our home has been severely damaged, but we are safe, and so thankful for that and for the first responders who are working tirelessly to save people", he said.
Residents of the mudslide-hit area were assessing their damaged homes, with some grateful their properties had survived.More news: U.S. embassy in London disagrees with Trump's reason for cancelling United Kingdom trip
But only 10-15% complied with mandatory orders, said Amber Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. The deluge helped trigger mudslides which quickly enveloped streets throughout the Montecito neighbourhood, as rescue workers scavenged the clogged streets and fallen trees to search for victims.
"It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere, with huge boulders, rocks, down trees, power lines, wrecked cars - lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes". The affected area was located west of Sheffield Drive, East Valley Road and Lader Lane; east of Olive Mill and Hot Springs Road, north of the ocean and south of U.S. Forest Service boundary.
"Had we not gone over there, I don't think that kid would have [survived]", he added. "Praying for the survivors and preparing for whatever may come".
Montecito is home to stars including Oprah Winfrey, whose home was among those inundated with mud.
With roads blocked, rescue crews used helicopters to pluck people from their rooftops. Looking for missing persons. On Tuesday, she tweeted solidarity with her community.More news: The area's best source for news, weather and sports!
DeGeneres said on her talk show on Thursday that the picturesque town of 9,000 is a "tight-knit" community. "I'm devastated for the families who lost loved ones".
"I send love to all the families and the unbelievable rescue workers braving these mudslides", she posted on Twitter.
Then, this week, it started to rain.
Rescue teams removed debris from several roads in the Los Angeles area, including on Coastal Highway 101 where a 50-kilometer stretch was closed for some time in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.More news: African immigrants in Raleigh 'insulted' by Trump's vulgar remarks
That number has now officially risen to 17.