Five people are dead in Southern California after pouring rain triggered mudslides that swept homes from their foundations and blocked roads, forcing helicopter evacuations.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department Captain Dave Zaniboni says the bodies were found in mud and debris during rescue operations Tuesday in Montecito northwest of Los Angeles.

Mudflows swept three homes from their foundations and left at least eight injured in Montecito.

The wealthy enclave is home to numerous celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Ellen DeGeneres.

Firefighters helped multiple residents escape the area, including a 14-year-old girl who was trapped for hours inside of a destroyed home.

Search crews used dogs to seek out the missing and injured amid scenes of destruction where homes once stood.

Critical coastal highway US 101 was shut down for a 30-mile stretch from Ventura to Santa Barbara as work crews tried to clear heavy debris.