Dashcam video captured a terrifying wave of mud and debris as it barreled toward a California Highway Patrol vehicle Jan. 9 in Montecito and lifted it off the road.
The video was captured in the early morning hours of the storm, before reports of the mudflow that would eventually kill at least 21 people, injure dozens and destroy hundreds of homes. Two officers in the vehicle were responding to a report of a structure fire when they unknowingly drove into the mudflow's path.
The onslaught of mud, rocks, tree limbs and other debris, illuminated by headlights, lifted the vehicle off the ground, causing it to spin about 180 degrees. The vehicle continued to float for about 15 harrowing seconds before it regained traction.
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No injuries were reported.
Two weeks after the deadly storm, some evacuated Montecito residents are being allowed to return home. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations were lifted Wednesday for about 1,000 homes. Other evacuation orders and warning were lifted Tuesday, but many resident have yet to receive the all-clear.