MONTECITO, Calif. (KGTV) -- Across the state, destructive mudslides and downpours wreaked havoc Tuesday. Thirteen weather-related deaths have been reported, but a Montecito family escaped that fate.
13 dead in California mudslides, rivers of mud wipe out homes
A local Coast Guard crew saved the family of five and their dogs from the mudslides in Santa Barbara County. AST2 Erin Custer and AST3 William Arrison were the rescue swimmers sent down.
When they arrived the family was in their attic, trying to escape the mudslide rushing through their home.
“The whole first floor flooded, about three or four feet of mud so they needed to get evacuated out of there or else they could have been trapped in there,” Custer said. "The first person to go up was the mom and her newborn and you know her two little kids are still down in the house so she was worried about them.”
“Erin wound up going up with the daughter just to keep her safe and then he came back down," Arrison said. "I went up with the boy who was a little older, you know, maybe like five or six.”
The five-person team finished the rescue by scooping up the dad and the family's two dogs: a Rottweiler and a Pit Bull.
The rest of the team members were LCDR Wayne O'Donnell, Lt. Treston Taylor, and AET2 Jake Dilon.
The Coast Guard crew was on their way back to San Diego after rescuing the family when they got the call to assist the National Guard in Santa Barbara County with dozens more rescues.
The Coast Guard says they are standing by in case their assistance is needed Wednesday.