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Weekly wrap-up: Celebrities affected by California mudslides react on social media; Snow falls in hottest place on Earth

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer
January 12, 2018, 8:31:23 PM EST

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Southern California continues to reel after the intense storm that deluged the area and triggered deadly and destructive mudslides.

More than a dozen people were killed in Montecito, just east of Santa Barbara, which was one of the hardest-hit areas.

Hundreds of homes have been damaged, and 100 have been destroyed. At least 50 people were rescued from their rooftops by helicopter, according to the Associated Press.

The heavy rain triggered debris flows and flash flooding in areas hit hard by recent wildfires, including the massive Thomas Fire, which is the largest wildfire in state history.

California Montecito mudslides

Debris and mud cover the entrance of the Montecito Inn after heavy rain brought flash flooding and mudslides to the area in Montecito, Calif. on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Daniel Dreifuss)


Debris and mud flowed across roads and highways, leading to major road closures and traffic standstills.

“It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere with huge boulders, rocks, downed trees, power lines, wrecked cars, lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes, let alone to get people out of them," Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown told the AP.

Celebrities have taken to social media to share their personal experiences with the devastating impacts.

Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Troy Aikman and Gigi Hadid all posted about the damage. Oprah said her property in Montecito was affected.




Snow blanketed one of the hottest places on Earth this week: the Sahara Desert.

Cold air mixed with a storm streaming off Spain which led to the unusual snowfall. While snow is a rare occurrence in the desert area, a similar snow phenomenon happened last year.

Enough snow fell to be seen from space.

sahara snow nasa space

NASA's Operational Land Imager captured this image of snow in Algeria in the Sahara Desert on Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo/NASA)


This event was the fourth snowfall in just under 40 years.

A cyclone tore across Madagascar over the weekend, killing more than 30 people and displacing thousands.

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Tropical Cyclone Ava reached the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall. The storm lashed the eastern side of the island with winds up to 119 mph, according to Reuters.

At least 13,000 were displaced.

Freezing rain and frigid conditions created messy travel in the eastern United States on Monday.

Numerous accidents were reported from Alabama to Pennsylvania. More than 500 flights were canceled and another 1,000 were delayed, according to FlightStats.

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