It's hard to wrap your brain around the devastation that has befallen Santa Barbara County in California in the wake of the one-two punch of massive wildfires followed by rainfall that triggered widespread mudslides. Rescuers are still combing through the wreckage for survivors two days later.
Firefighters from Burbank, in neighboring Los Angeles County, shared footage with the CBS television affiliate in Sacramento Thursday showing what appears to be a gray Toyota Prius navigating — or simply being carried — downhill amid a river of muddy water, rocks and debris.
There were no details provided, and it's hard to confirm from the brief clip, but it's highly possible someone was behind the wheel. The car is clearly running, with the headlights on and wipers engaged, and was able to get around the curve in the hill, even as a fresh wave of mud and water engulfed it. We can only hope the driver made it to safety.
Eight people are still missing and 17 are confirmed dead. Twenty-eight were injured and 12 remain hospitalized, including four who were in critical condition. The Associated Press reports 100 homes have been destroyed and 446 others were damaged in coastal Montecito, a wealthy enclave northwest of Los Angeles where celebrities including Oprah Winfrey have homes.