There are still up to twelve people missing after the mudslides hit Santa Barbara, when torrential rain sent mud and debris slipping down hills which were stripped of vegetation by the recent wildfires in the region.
Floodwaters destroyed about 100 homes and damaged 300 more in Santa Barbara County.
"Steve Blum, a resident whose home is in one of the most devastated areas of Montecito, told CBS2's Jasmine Viel, "[the county] didn't give any warning to people, which was a mistake".
Parts of U.S. Highway 101 were shut down and could remain closed until Monday, officials said.
Seven thousand people have been ordered to evacuate while over 23,000 others have been asked to leave voluntarily.
Small creeks turned into raging rivers ripping off the sides of homes and wiping others completely from their foundation.
Excavators carrying rescuers in their buckets plowed through mud-coated roads in search of the missing after some areas were buried in as much as 15 feet of mud, emergency officials said.
"There are no customers", said Pierre Henry, owner of the Bree'osh Bakery Cafe Montecito, several blocks from the spot where a large mudslide crossed Coast Village Road as it moved toward the ocean.
Nearly the entire community, about 10,000 people, are under a mandatory evacuation order that could last for up to two weeks, Santa Barbara County's fire chief said. They found a 14-year-old girl trapped in a decimated Montecito home.
"Our home has been severely damaged, but we are safe", Bridges said on Twitter. "We don't know where it came from, but we got it out, got the mud out of its mouth".
Oprah posted a video on Instagram showing her wading through almost knee-deep mud on her Montecito property.
A separate Montecito resident also named John Keating was seriously injured during this incident and is in the hospital.
Boulders the size of small cars were rolling down hillsides and blocking roads, reports BBC News Los Angeles correspondent James Cook.