World Media

See Images of Devastating Rain, Flooding, and Mud in Southern California

Mud and debris gather outside the Montecito Inn along Olive Mill Road in Montecito after a major storm hit the burn area

Santa Barbara County officials estimate that just 10 to 15 percent of residents ordered to evacuate heeded the warning ahead of a risky storm that has killed five people.

The heavy downpours subsided early Tuesday after prompting evacuation orders for residents along the Pacific Coast north of Los Angeles, but forecasters warned of more rain throughout the day.

Authorities say only a small percentage of people heeded evacuation warnings as the storm approached.

About 21,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders by mid-Monday.

Twenty-five people have been injured and 50 rescues have been performed, Santa Barbara County officials said.

Firefighters have rescued at least eight people Tuesday morning in the flood-ravaged California community of Montecito, and the "numbers are expected to go up significantly", Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason says.

Heavy rain was falling in areas charred by recent wildfires, triggering warnings of flash flooding and mudslides because vegetation that otherwise would hold hills together and make the terrain flood-resistant have burned away.

Mud fills the interior of a car destroyed in a rain-driven mudslide in a neighborhood under mandatory evacuation in Burbank California

Photos and video released by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department show the girl covered in mud as firefighters guided her out of the Montecito home, which was reduced to a pile of rubble by the mudslides caused by heavy rain.

Crews are clearing debris that closed a section of US 101 along the border of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Eliason told CNN at least three homes have been "wiped away by mudflow and debris" in the Montecito neighborhood. Rainfall totals ranged from 2 inches (5 cm) to 4.5 inches (11 cm) in the area, said the National Weather Service.

Evacuations were also in place in parts of Ventura County and Los Angeles County.

The Santa Barabara Sherriff's Office confirmed the deaths to Anadolu Agency but did not have additional information immediately available. "More flash flooding possible Montecito/Carpinteria", a message on Santa Barbara County's website reads.

Traffic accidents have slowed the Tuesday morning commute to a crawl across the region, including along coastal USA 101 in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.