Thousands told to evacuate in California

A dramatic lightning show illuminated the West Coast as deafening thunderstorms threaten the state.
2:00 | 03/06/19

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Transcript for Thousands told to evacuate in California
I tell you, this bad weather has been relentless. Right to those mandatory evacuations out west as that new storm hits. Take a look at this. The storm brought these powerful lightning strikes to California overnight. Amazing images. 1500 pulses of lightning in just five minutes and now the heavy rains could lead to mudslides and our chief national correspondent Matt Gutman is in montecito, California, with the latest. Good morning, Matt. Reporter: Hey, good morning, Michael. We are right in the heart of the evacuations and this is what's called the red zone here. We have seen the kind of rain that can unleash mudslides and you got to remember that a year ago that entire hotel was destroyed by mudslides and everywhere we've gone in montecito we've seen roadblocks and police patrolling to ensure that people got out. Whoa. Reporter: Overnight that lightning show illuminating the California coast as threatening rain and deafening thunderstorms roll in. Nearly 1500 pulses of lightning recorded off the Santa Barbara coast in just five minutes. Those massive branches of lightning splitting the sky above Santa Barbara sharking the darkness with blue light. Those powerful bolts striking a delta flight headed to Seattle forcing it to return to the los Angeles airport which was also struck briefly losing power. Nearly a quarter of an inch of rain swamping roads, flooding parts of highway 1 near Guadalupe, California. 3,000 residents in Santa Barbara county ordered to evacuate ahead of the downpour preparing for those potential catastrophic mudslides near those fire seared mountains. Now, deputies have gone door to door trying to convince folks to leave. You got to remember, this area has 3,000 people living in it under a mandatory evacuation, but this is the sixth or seventh time they've been ordered to leave and some folks have decided just to stay put again for this one. Guys. All right, thank you so much there, Matt.

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

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