About 9K Santa Barbara County residents told to evacuate after mudslides

Officials warned of hazards and said first responders needed access to areas "without interference."
2:19 | 01/12/18

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Transcript for About 9K Santa Barbara County residents told to evacuate after mudslides
We're going to turn to the deadly mudslides in California. There are still gas leaks, no running water and they are spray painting warnings in the mud so rescuers and families don't fall in when they return. Rescue crews are still searching for possible victims. Still some hope tonight. Take a look at this live picture. You're looking at highway 101 still buried in mud. Still closed tonight and standing where there should be traffic is our Matt Gutman who has been covering this from the start. Good evening Matt. Reporter: Good evening David. Officials say they have no estimate when they might open this crucial freeway and the reason is that there's concern there may still be victims here in this sludge. That as this turns from a search and rescue operation to one of recovery. Reporter: Tonight most montecito residents ordered out, replaced by an army of 1250 first responders. It's important we give our crews the ability to get in there and access these areas without interference. Reporter: The order affects about 9,000 residents. There are hazards everywhere here and aside from this quicksand like mud, I want you to hear that. That's a gas pipe that ruptured and what's astonishing is that it is still going. Other dangers include swimming pools now completely concealed by layers of mud. Reporter: Parts of highway 101 that major artery still submerged. Debris reaching the ocean and engulfing not only homes but the chapel at la casa de MARIA. And historic hotels like the montecito inn. It's pretty unbelievable and we're just starting the basement which has about 8 or so feet of dirt in it right now. Reporter: Tonight we are seeing the faces of many of the victims ranging in age from just 3 to 89-year-old Jim Mitchell. He had just celebrated his birthday. Married to wife Alice for more than 50 years. Both perished. David engineers tell me the debris flows here were so colossal they haven't been able to access all the areas affected and they say enough Boulders and Diller came roaring down that mountain to fill 1 million dump trucks. Matt, thank you for your reporting night after night. Next this evening news

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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